Sunday was definitely a night for throwbacks (with a little sprinkle of something new) as Wendy Williams hosted the 2014 Soul Train Awards.
The chat diva took a night off with her usual shade (for the most part) assuring the audience that they weren’t going to get talk-show Wendy. She did still manage to flirt a bit with Trey Songz, and congratulated Lil Kim on the birth of her new baby in the opening monologue.
For an awards ceremony, there were surprisingly few awards handed out over the course of the show. Trey Songz won the first prize of the night for Best R&B/Soul Male and Pharrell Williams won Song Of The Year for his mega-hit “Happy.”
It was also a pretty good night for Chris Brown, who opened the show with a medley of his hits that briefly chronicled the progression of his career, from “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” and “Take You Down,” to “New Flame” and “Loyal.”
It seems that Brown more than rebounded from his time in lockup with his smash “Loyal,” which earned him two awards: Best Hip-Hop Song and Best Collaboration.
To bring a moment of levity to the evening, Wolf Blitzer and Tessanne Chin presented Aloe Blacc‘s Soul Inspiration performance that promoted love, peace and souuul in a time where police brutality, disease and general discord dominate so much of the media’s attention.
Judge Mathis presented the Legend Award to Kool And The Gang, a band that has remained relevant and respected in the industry for more than 40 years. To illustrate their huge influence, Questlove broke down the amount of hip-hop songs sampled by the band.
The tribute was followed up by a truly fly mashup of the band’s greatest hits and off-shoots. Doug E. Fresh played emcee for the set, featuring Tamar Braxton, MC Lyte, Elle Varner, Ma$e, and Tank just to name a few.
If you didn’t know by now, the finale slot went to the “Ladies’ Night” reunion. Eric Benet got things popping by singing a few bars of the original before Lil Kim stomped out onto the stage in a flowing red robe and thigh-highs. Flanked by a crew of dancers, Queen Bee immediately demanded attention for her verse.
Instead of having someone else imitate Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, producers just let her verse run along with her clip from the video, and it was great moment of remembrance. Da Brat picked things up from there before handing off the set to Missy Elliott. Although Angie Martinez was missing, two of the ladies from Total joined in on the reunion. It was kind of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it thing, but they were there along with Lady of Rage.
Overall, it was an awesome night of music, and Williams capped off the turn-up with the most epic of Soul Train lines!
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