The harmony vocal quartet Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” was named R&B song of the year and the group won two other trophies at the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards Tuesday night. The suddenly ubiquitous Michael Jackson, meanwhile, tried to defy gravity from a wheelchair.
Jackson, suffering an ankle injury that confined him to a wheelchair and crutches, collected two awards during Tuesday night’s ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium. So did singer Mary J. Blige.
Boyz II Men won best rhythm and blues single by a group, band or duo for “Please Don’t Go,” and best R&B song and musicvideo for “End of the Road.”
Blige won best R&B album by a female artist for “What’s the 411?” and best new R&B artist for “Real Love.” Jackson won best R&B single by a male artist for “Remember the Time” and best album by a male artist for “Dangerous.”
Soul Train publicist Ramon Hervey said Jackson was injured in rehearsal on Monday.
Here is a sampling of backstage comments from winners and show participants:
Mary J. Blige said she was surprised she won the new R&B artist award. “I thought Arrested Development would have won because they’ve been cleaning up.” Blige, whose debut release “What’s the 411?” was a sleeper hit last year, attributed her success to “just being me and hard work.”
Fusion jazz saxophonist Najee, who captured the jazz album award, said, “I’m always honored to be recognized in the family of the Soul Train winners, and it’s always an honor to know that you have the support of being recognized by your own. That’s very important.”
Mario Van Peebles, who was a presenter, spoke about his latest directorial effort, the western film “Posse.” Asked about working in Hollywood, Van Peebles quipped, “One day you’re on a billboard and the next day on a milk carton.”
Asked which she prefers, dancing or acting, choregrapher/actress Rosie Perez responded, “I like whatever’s paying more at the time.” Perez said the best thing about working on “Untamed Heart” was “working with Marisa Tomei.”
Eddie Murphy, who presented Michael Jackson with the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his efforts in establishing the Heal the World Foundation and Heal L.A. Projects, said of the recently postponed “Beverly Hills Cop 3”: “The script isn’t ready. It was too jokey … it came out goofy and I didn’t want to do a goofy movie.”
Controversial rapper Ice-T, who presented the R&B album of the year, female, award to Blige, said of his departure from Warner Bros. Records, “Warner Bros. cannot be in the business of selling black rage, because it’s very intense.” He took the L.A. press to task, saying the “gang truce in Los Angeles is not getting a lot of publicity,” adding, “More of my brothers have been killed in gang war than in any other foreign war. I think aid should be given to the gang truce just like they do with any other war. I think people have to stop acting like this is some kids playing. There were 800 murders last year on the streets of Los Angeles and it’s the most important thing that’s ever happened in my life.”
Natalie Cole said her next album, titled “Beginning to See the Light” and due out by the first week of June, would include songs of her late father Nat King Cole in addition to Aretha Franklin and “some Basie stuff.”
Don Cornelius, co-producer of the event with Tribune Entertainment, said, “The whole show was a highlight, with the best energy we’ve had so far. Michael Jackson’s appearance was one of his more unique appearances. Nobody was disappointed (that he couldn’t dance due to a sprained ankle). As my good friend Suzanne de Passe said, ‘The boy’s even bad in a chair.’ ”
The two-hour ceremony was syndicated on nationwide TV by Tribune Entertainment. Winners include:
R&B single, female: “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston.
R&B single, male: “Remember the Time,” Michael Jackson.
R&B single, group, band or duo: “Please Don’t Go,” Boyz II Men.
R&B album, female: “What’s the 411?” Mary J. Blige.
R&B album, male: “Dangerous,” Michael Jackson.
R&B album, group, band or duo: “Funky Divas,” En Vogue.
RAP album: “3 Years 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of… ,” Arrested Development.
Jazz album: “Just an Illusion,” Najee.
Gospel album: “He’s Working It Out for You,” Shirley Caesar.
R&B song: “End of the Road,” Boyz II Men.
New R&B artist: “Real Love,” Mary J. Blige.
R&B musicvideo: “End of the Road,” Boyz II Men.