*Where should I begin?  First off, the evening started out with the red carpet arrivals outside the Cobb Energy and Performing Arts Center  in Atlanta, GA with a crowd of both audience members and media gathered to welcome all the celebrities and get photo ops while a group of Soul Train dancers kept up an energetic party atmosphere.  After the pomp and circumstance outside, an eager audience awaited for show taping to commence!

R. Kelly’s opening act was incredible! From the starting medley of his older hits to his soulful “When A Woman Loves” to the final transition of a high energy, 1950’s like ‘hop-bop’ transition of the song.  His engaging, vivacious performance was on point as an opening act!  

Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard returned again this year as the awards show hosts.  Always known as ‘cute and adorable’ together, some of their hosting segments were lackluster in delivery, corny and somewhat juvenile as they engaged in ‘magic tricks’ and ‘spells’ leaving the audience only slightly amused yet somewhat unengaged.

Let’s face it, tricks are for kids, not to be used at awards shows. If anything, Henson and Howard should have continued to do segments that were a spinoff of their ‘girls versus guys’ dance off challenge bit, which was way more entertaining and crowd pleasing as evidenced by the audiences’ much more positive, hype, lively applause and cheers.

Some of the other performances of the night included Ne-Yo, Eric Benet, Gyptian, Tank, Cee-Lo, Bruno Mars, and of course the ladies…Jazmine Sullivan with Doug E. Fresh and Erykah Badu. Erykah Badu, widely known for her eclecticism, wowed the audience yet again with her creatively inspired fusion set of graphic design and multi-dimensionalism.

Just to name some of the presenters of the night:  Raven Symone’; Keisha Knight Pulliam; Chilli; SWV; Kim Fields; Biz Markie; Ray-J; Kay Michelle; Fonzworth Bentley; Elise Neal; Michael Baisden and soooo many
more.

Anita Baker was the proud recipient of the Soul Train “Legends” award after being honored through songs by the likes of Chrisette Michelle, Tamia, Faith Evans, Rachelle Ferrell, Lala Hathaway, Goapele, Dionne Farris, and El DeBarge.  All of whom incredibly carried out their individual renditions of Baker’s songs.  Other award recipients’ for the evening included B.O.B for Song of the Year; Melanie Fiona for Best New Artist; Eminem for Best Hip Hop Song of the Year; Gyptian for Best Reggae Artist; and Janelle Monae received the Soul Train  “Centric” Award.

For the politically inclined, the audience was delighted to have Jesse Jackson among the attendees as well as Wolf Blitzer from CNN’s ‘The Situation Room’ who had the audience roaring in laughter from his ‘showing me how to dougie’ with the help of Doug E. Fresh, to his comedically steeped acceptance speech of Eminem’s award in his absence.

Throughout the show, audience members were treated to video snippets of “classic” Soul Train interviews by Don Cornelius with legends such as Isaac Hayes and Marvin Gaye, as well as showing the oh-so-unforgettable afro-wearing, polyester-clad suit wearing, platform-shoe wearing, bell bottom pants wearing classic Soul Train dancers along with their ‘scrabble board’ moments.

The Soul Train Awards 2010 are set to air November 28 on BET and Centric @ 9/8c.

List of winners for the 2010 Soul Train Awards:

* Best New Artist – Melanie Fiona
* Best Female R&B Soul Artist – Alicia Keys (absent)
* Song of the Year – ‘Nothing on You’ by B.o.B. feat Bruno Mars
* Best Hip Hop Song of the Year – ‘Love the Way You Lie’ by Eminem featuring Rihanna (absent)
* Best Male R&B Soul Artist – Trey Songz and Usher (tie) (absent)
* Album of the Year – Usher Raymond, Raymond vs. Raymond
* Record of the Year (songwriter award) – Alicia Keys, ‘Unthinkable (I’m Ready),’ songwriters: Alicia Keys, Aubrey Graham, Brothers, Noah “40” Shebib
* Best Reggae Artist Award – Gyptian
* Centric Award – Janelle Monae
* Best Gospel Performance Male Female or Group – Marvin Sapp
* Best Dance Performance – Ciara, ‘Ride’ (absent)