With Chris Brown and Beyonce leading the nominees, the 2011 Soul Train Awards, which took place on Thursday, November 17th at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, will air tonight, November 27, on both Centric and BET at 9PM EST.
Confirmed performers for the show include multi-Grammy Award winning singer Natalie Cole, Jill Scott, Mindless Behavior, Robin Thicke, BeBe Winans and Joe, with The Original 7Ven, formerly known as The Time, opening the show. Questlove, of The Roots, will also perform a rendition of the “Soul Train” opening song.
While we are well aware that many of our picks will not likely win, we present those those that we feel are most deserving here for your review and debate.
Best New Artist
Miguel (Soulhead Pick)
Commentary: While we were quite impressed by Frank Ocean this year, we feel Miguel really made us sit up and listen. ”All I Want is You” is one of the better songs this year for sure. While we think Bruno Mars will likely win this award, we are pulling for Miguel.
Best Male R&B/Soul Artist
Cee Lo Green (Soulhead Pick)
Commentary: We are just too proud of Cee Lo. From Goodie MOB to Gnarls Barkley, this brother has really been on a roll for years. Again, he likely won’t win but he deserves to. Unfortunately, Chris Brown will likely take the award, which we do not feel will be deserved. Not that Chris is not talented, but in this group, he’s not our fave.
Ledisi (Soulhead Pick)
Commentary: We are strooong supporters of Ledisi as one of our country’s best singers ever. As such, we cannot go against her in this important category. We love most of these artists and would love to see any of these incredibly gifted artists win, but Ledisi should win, with Raphael Saadiq a very close second.
Best Caribbean Performance
“Man Down” – Rihanna
“Summer Time” – Vybz Kartel
“Wotless” – Kes The Band
“Bend Over” – Machel Montano
“Delilah” – Movado
Commentary: Even though it will be tough to beat Rihanna just ’cause, we were hearing Movado a bunch this year in Brooklyn.
Best Gospel Performance
“I Smile” – Kirk Franklin (Soulhead Pick)
“Walking” – Mary Mary
“Heaven Hear My Heart” – Trin-I-Tee 5:7
“I Believe” – James Fortune ft. Shawn McLemore
“More” – Cece Winans
Commentary: This will be a very tight competition for this award. Mary Mary had a stellar year but we feel the remixed and accessible Kirk Franklin sound will win out.
Album of the Year
21 – Adele
F.A.M.E – Chris Brown
4 – Beyonce
Passion Pain & Pleasure – Trey Songz
Light of the Sun – Jill Scott
Watch The Throne – Jay Z and Kanye West (Soulhead Pick)
Commentary: We’d actually like to see Trey Songz win this award since he has been grinding for so many years and this past year produced some quality material. However, I think the best album of this group would be Jay Z and Kanye’s effort followed by Adele.
Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year
“Moment for Life” – Nicki Minaj (Soulhead Pick)
“All of the Lights”- Kanye West ft. Rihanna
“Look at Me Now” – Chris Brown feat. Busta Rhymes and Lil’ Wayne
“Out of My Head” – Lupe Fiasco
“Otis” - Jay Z and Kanye West
Commentary: Almost too close to call, but since this is a hip hop category and not a pop category, we will pick Otis over Moment for Life, which we feel is a more powerful song but not as hip hop as Otis.
Best Female R&B/Soul Artist
Jennifer Hudson (Soulhead Pick)
Mary J. Blige
Commentary: We love all of these artists but felt that Jennifer Hudson had the best year. The sentimental fave here would be Kelly Rowland but we don’t actually believe she will get the nod over Beyonce. As such, they may cancel each other out, leaving the way for J-Hud to scoop up this one.
Song of the Year
“Motivation” – Kelly Rowland feat. Lil’ Wayne
“Sure Thing”- Miguel
“Rolling in the Deep” – Adele (Soulhead Pick)
“She Ain’t You” – Chris Brown
“All of the Lights” – Kanye West
“So In Love” – Jill Scott ft. Anthony Hamilton
Commentary: Adele really deserves this one. Rolling in the Deep is one of the best songs of the past few years for sure. That said, we’d love to see Jill and Anthony take this one home.
Record of the Year (The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award)
“Rolling in the Deep” – Adele (Writers: Adele, Paul Epworth)
“Far Away” – Marsha Ambrosius (Writers: Marsha Ambrosius, Sterling Simms)
“Best Thing I Never Had” – Beyonce (Writers: Antonio Dixon; Kenneth Edmonds; Larry Griffin, Jr.; Beyoncé Knowles; Caleb McCampbell; Patrick Smith; Shea Taylor) (Soulhead Pick)
“Good Man” – Raphael Saddiq (Writers: Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson)
“Hold My Hand” (Duet with Akon) – Michael Jackson (Writers: Aliaune Thiam (Akon), Giorgio Tuinfort, Claude Kelly)
Commentary: The lyrics of Best Thing…. just work. Period.
Best Dance Performance
“Motivation” – Kelly Rowland
“Only Girl in the World”/”What’s My Name” – Rihanna (Soulhead Pick)
“Run The World” – Beyonce
“She Ain’t You” – Chris Brown
“Walking” – Mary Mary
“Pretty Girl Rock” – Keri Hilson
Commentary: We’d love to see Kelly win this one but think Rihanna really represented this year.
2011 Soul Train Award Legend Award Recipients
Earth Wind and Fire
“In Concert On Broadway” – Harry Connick Jr.
“James Farm”- Eric Harland
“Light My Fire”- Eliane Elias
“Silver Pony”- Cassandra Wilson (Soulhead Pick)
“What’s It All About” – Pat Metheny
Commentary: Cassandra Wilson is always a favorite in this category.
“Contact” – Boney James
“Hello Tomorrow” – Dave Koz
“Rock-et Sci-ence ”- Bela Fleck
“Let’s Touch The Sky”- Fourplay
“Time Together”- Michael Franks
Commentary: Who doesn’t want to see Michael Franks accept this award. Love him.