*The stars were shining in Las Vegas at the Soul Train Music Awards. With bold prints, sexy lace and glamorous gowns, it’s hard not to talk about the fashion at the event.
First of all, Toni Braxton graced the red carpet looking absolutely stunning in her nude chiffon gown. The singer showed off her hourglass figure and dazzled us with her classically simple look. Not to mention Baby Face was her adornment for the evening.
Jennifer Hudson came out again with a short dress, showing off those legs. The bold prints are in! And J-Hud is switching things up lately. She was spotted on the red carpet at Black Girls Rock, again, showing some skin in a cute black mini. K. Michelle classed herself up a bit with an elegant two-toned gown with a black lace skirt. It’s nice to see her dressed up.
Imagining pharaoh (or Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” video), Faith Evans’s dress reminded us of Egyptian art with stricking lines, gold and black patterns. Crisette Michele took the baby-doll dress and made it all grown up with a leather bodice. She was killing it with her red platform heels. Have you noticed her looking a bit trimmer? You go girl!
Vivica A. Fox does it every time. That woman knows how to look sexy, elegant and classy all at the same time. Her to the floor gown was beyond beautiful. Cleverly quiet, the patterns and little peeks of skin brought a little flavor to the classic black dress. She rocked an up-do and made sure to compliment her dress with diamonds and natural stones.
They also performed new songs from their new album: Now, Then and Forever. The three remaining original members of EWF for over 42 years shut the house down!
Verdine White brought his electric energy on the bass guitar; Philip Bailey wowed the audience with his powerful four-octave range while Ralph Johnson kept the crowd going with his smooth suave moves!
During an intimate interview with fans aboard the Soul Train Cruise, the super group talked to us candidly about Maurice White’s condition and one of Don Cornelius’ biggest regrets. As Philip stated, “We are at home, so we can talk like this, right?”
The crowd assured him that indeed he was, so he did. We found out the real reason they didn’t perform on Soul Train as well as their original thoughts behind their most requested song September.
The three were so down to earth with their fans. Their performance was a great experience! Everyone danced in the aisles while an overly excited older woman with a lot of spunk nearly put one of their vocalists in a half-nelson! Philip’s son was another vocalists and he gave a spectacular performance with his dad! They even performed songs from their new album which has a great sound.
“We make these albums for you all. We have new songs on our album, but what we love about this new record, it that is sounds like Earth, Wind & Fire,” said Verdine White.
If you missed them on the Soul Train cruise, be sure to visit: www.earthwindandfire.com for tour dates and concerts! As our associate, LaCora Stephens agreed with Philip:
“This was a rare occasion to be so close and personal with the mega-group! Seeing the love among the three was a sight to behold … true icons!”
Soul Train, “The Hippest Trip in America,” was the first television show featuring and even celebrating black music and culture. It began from very humble beginnings – airing weekdays only on WCIU-TV in Chicago, but with Cornelius’ vision and business savvy went on to become a nationally syndicated institution beloved by the entire spectrum of racial diversity. The show was hosted by the ultra-cool Cornelius himself from its start through 1993, then sought to become and even “hipper trip” by bringing on younger hosts (Shemar Moore, Dorian Gregory, Mystro Gregory and others) to freshen up its image. From the opening credits to the famous scramble board, the culture-defining memories that are held regarding the show are nearly incomparable.
Soul Train not only showcased the breadth of musical talent that exists within the black community through featuring fledgling and established R&B acts – and a few blue-eyed honoraries to boot, but it also featured an intriguing revolving cast of talented dancers, some of whom are still remembered today and went on to achieve greater success (Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel, “the Asian lady” Cheryl Song …). Anybody who was or wanted to be anybody – from Gladys Knight to Elton John – wanted to be part of the black entertainment juggernaut. The show almost instantly made being black cool, amassing rabidly devoted fans who propelled it to becoming “the longest running first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history.” It aired from 1971 to 2006 and also spawned shows such as The Lady of Soul Awards, The Soul Train Awards (still airing today) and just recently the brand to the sea as the Soul Train Cruise, featuring some of the artists that contributed to it’s greatness.
Ericka Blount Danois
Danois’ love for Soul Train and awareness that she was obviously joined by millions of other die-hard fans compelled her do her part in preserving and celebrating its legacy. She went to work writing the recently released book, Love, Peace and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train: Classic Moments (now available thru Amazon and other book stores), to keep Cornelius’ inspiring legacy alive and churned out a compelling labor of love.
This brief intro only scratches the surface of what made Soul Train great, but Danois digs way beneath the surface to revisit widely known moments about the show and to reveal some not so known. At an event celebrating the release of the book in Brooklyn, New York, Danois gave a personal account of why she wrote the book, what it’s about and whose input she sought to flesh it out. She stopped short of dancing, but also shared some of her favorite Soul Train moments.
*It’s probably safe to say that no living soul on this planet has more passion for and knowledge of “Soul Train” than Questlove of The Roots.
The drummer, born Ahmir Thompson, is a living, breathing encyclopedia on the longtime syndicated series, and has now put all of that information to good use in an upcoming book titled, “Soul Train: The Music, Dance And Style Of A Generation.”
Quest, who says this book is “a dream come true,” has seen rare pictures from the show and watched all 1,117 episodes in preparation for the project.
In fact, he was about halfway through his binge viewing of the “hippest trip in America” when EURweb’s Lee Bailey got him on the phone in 2011.
“Soul Train: The Music, Dance And Style Of A Generation” will be released on Oct. 22.
From the publisher: The book reveals the remarkable story of the captivating program, and Questlove’s text is paired with more than 350 photographs of the show’s most memorable episodes and the larger-than-life characters who defined it: the great host Don Cornelius, the extraordinary musicians, and the people who lived the phenomenon from dance floor.
Gladys Knight contributed a foreword to this incredible volume. Nick Cannon contributed the preface.
Dude is getting ready to make another big move. He’s bringing back “Soul Train.”
Yep, you read that correctly. At this weekend’s American Black Film Festival in South Beach, Cannon revealed that he recently struck a deal to bring the musical variety show to NBC, via his production company NCredible Entertainment.
“One of the things I’m the most excited about, and we’re just now starting to talk about it is the re-launch of Soul Train and that coming back,” Cannon told theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon. “It means so much for our culture. It truly is something that to be able to bring through my deal at NBC Universal is that in itself is kind of taking it to the next level for where the brand began. I’m excited about that.”
Last year it was reported that Cannon inked a first-look production deal with NBC to develop scripted and unscripted programming for the network.
*They just made throwing our money away more fun with the latest D.C. Lottery addition, the New Soul Train Scratcher.
“The D.C. Lottery is proud to be the first lottery in the country to bring the energy, impact, and history associated with the music of Soul Train to our players in the form of this exciting scratcher ticket,” said Buddy Roogow, executive director of the D.C. Lottery.
Certainly they’re glad about it because they think they’ve figured out how to make poor Black people spend more of their money.
The new scratcher starts in at $5 a pop but with the possibility of a $50,000 prize.
The spotlight activity for this new instant game is a “Soul Train Day” at Union Station on Wednesday, February 13, hosted in partnership with Tom Joyner and Majic/WMMJ-FM and featuring a Soul Train Line Dance contest and hourly Scramble Board Contests. Prizes include train tickets, basketball game tickets, and gift cards to B. Smith’s Restaurant in Union Station.
For more information about the Soul Train Scratcher and other D.C. Lottery games, visit www.dclottery.com.