Viacom International Media Networks and BET have announced that this year’s SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2013 special recognition honourees will be trailblazing musicians and entrepreneurs Dionne Warwick (Legend Award) and Keith Sweat (Lifetime Achievement Award).
The concept for the Soul Train awards was conceived in Dionne Warwick’s basement, along with Don Cornelius, many years ago. Committed to providing artists with a platform to showcase their talent, Warwick and Cornelius put together an innovative show at a time where African American artists were not widely recognized for their contributions. In honour of her commitment and longstanding success, Gladys Knight, Ronald Isley, Eric Benet, Ruben Studdard, Kenny Lattimore, Bobby V and Candice Glover will take the stage in a special tribute performance.
R&B crooner Keith Sweat has been affecting audiences for decades with his unique sound. In 1987, his hit “I Want Her” was the song that inaugurated the New Jack Swing era. In addition to his musical talent, his ability to identify new talent put him in a league of few. He founded Keia Records label that featured platinum selling group Silk and formed platinum supergroup LSG. To celebrate his achievements, Keith Sweat will perform a medley of his top hits and will welcome a special appearance by Faith Evans.
Joining the growing star-studded line-up for the night are presenters Janelle Monáe, Toni Braxton, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Wolf Blitzer, E! News’ Alicia Quarles, Mack Wilds, Malinda Williams and Carl Anthony Payne, while David Foster is added to the performer roster. “Queen of the Red Carpet” Wendy Williams will kick-off the pre-show live from the centre of the action where she will be dishing with celebrity performers, presenters and guests. Additionally, dancers from Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE will take the stage to perform selections from the hit show.
As previously announced, the show will include appearances by Bill Bellamy, Boris Kodjoe, Vanessa A. Williams, Vivica A. Fox among others. There will also be performances from Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Tamar Braxton, K. Michelle, Wale, among other stars.
Hip-hop sensation Kendrick Lamar leads this year’s nominations with six nominations across multiple categories, including: Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Tied with five nominations each are Miguel, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Chris Brown, Tamar Braxton and Janelle Monae.
Comedian and actor Anthony Anderson hosts the awards, which will air on BET across Africa at midnight CAT on Saturday 7 December.