Formerly known as The Time, the Original 7ven opened the 2011 Soul Train Awards

*Even though it was freezing cold, Thursday night, Nov. 17, was one hot night in the ATL! Celebrities and fans braved the frosty temperatures to come out for the taping of the 2011 Soul Train Awards Show.

Hosted by the always funny Cedric the Entertainer, the world famous Peachtree Street and the beautiful Fox Theater was jammed with A-list stars of music and film.

This year’s show presented legendary achievement awards to Atlanta’s own Gladys Knight as well as the legendary Earth Wind and Fire.

After a brief delay in starting due to a sound issue with the first band, producer and musician Jimmy Jam came out and got the crowd ready for the performance by the first act, the Original 7ven.

You ask who is the Original 7ven? Put it this way, if you remember the band Morris Day and The Time, you already know how the Original 7ven is. You’re in for a treat when you see/hear Morris, Jerome, and the guys rock the old school Time classics … and guess what, they sound really good. Mr. Day has not lost a step. One word, C-O-O-L! Remember that when you watch the show.

After that, the very funny Cedric the Entertainer rocked the stage with a little rapping, stank leg, and some old school West Coast pop-lockin. What a sight and be sure to check him out. Not bad for an old dude. :)

A few award winners were Miguel: Best New Artist, Marsha Ambrosius: Best Album (she was really gracious and was thankful to receive an award) and Cee Lo: Best Male R&B.

A few other highlights from the show … Tony Braxton, Dave Hollister, Chrisette Michelle, Mary Mary, and the beautiful Natalie Cole singing tributes to Gladys Knight. Well done … a must see the tribute. I think I would have lost my mind if Gladys would have sang “Neither One of Us,” but she sang a duet with BeBe Winans which was still very nice.

My personal highlight was the moving tribute to Heavy D with performances by hip hop legends Whodini, Big Daddy Kane and Kurtis Blow. All I can say is “Awesome.” I was hoping Earth Wind and Fire was going to totally rock out the end of the show, but they didn’t, however, you will love Eric Benet and Robin Thicke’s rendition of “Reasons.” In addition, Jill Scott, Lalah Hathaway, Musiq Soulchild also rocked the Earth Wind and Fire classics.

The 2011 Soul Train Awards will not disappoint you, so turn on the TV simulcast to BET or Centric on Sunday, Nov 27 at 9pm E/P, 8pm Central. Until next time, C’est si bon (It’s So Good)!

Dallas, TX based Eric Shepherd reviews concerts, shows and events for EURweb. You can reach him via: zydecorico@gmail.com.