The lineup of performers for the Soul Train Awards telecast Thanksgiving weekend is coming into place, with a slate that will include recent chart mainstays like Silk Sonic, Ari Lennox, Leon Bridges and Lucky Daye as well as two artists getting lifetime achievement awards at the ceremony, Maxwell and Ashanti.
The show will also feature a freestyling event, the annual “Soul Cypher” jam, that this year will include D-Nice, Musiq Soulchild, Jac Ross, Koryn Hawthorne, Elle Varner and Tone Stith. The freestyling will take off from the late Aaliyah’s 20-year-old hit “Rock the Boat.” Former show host Erykah Badu started the Soul Cypher tradition.
The show airs on BET Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will be broadcast for the first time from New York’s world-famous Apollo Theatre. Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold have been previously announced as returning as co-hosts.
Newly announced as presenters are top nominee H.E.R. along with Tristan Mack Wilds and the casts of the BET shows “Games People Play” and “Sacrifice.”
H.E.R. comes into the show with a leading eight nominations, followed by Jazmine Sullivan and Chris Brown with six each. Wizkid and TEMS have five nods apiece, followed by Blxst with four and Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak (individually and collectively as members of Silk Sonic), Doja Cat and Yung Bleu with three.
Maxwell will be receiving the “Legend” award at the ceremony, and Ashanti will pick up the “Lady of Soul” honor.
Silk Sonic will have a particularly high profile going into the Soul Train Awards, as Mars’ and Paak’s debut album as a duo, “An Evening With Silk Sonic,” finally reaches digital services and retailers this weekend, making good on a promise laid when the single “Leave the Door Open” came out in March and became one of 2021’s biggest hits.