The evening was filled with memorable moments, featuring star-studded performances from Silk Sonic’s Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, popular songstress Ari Lennox, Lucky Daye, Summer Walker, Ashanti, Maxwell, the legendary Fred Hammond and more. You can watch an encore airing of the 2021 Soul Train Awards this Tuesday, November 30 at 5:30 PM ET/PT on BET; but until then, here’s a list of the night’s best moments.
Silk Sonic’s Opening Performance
R&B/Soul super duo Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, kicked off the evening with an amazing rendition of “Fly As Me.” Silk Sonic also added a bit of nostalgia to the show, with the collective performing on an exact replica of the iconic Soul Train set.
Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold Start The Show
Hosting for the fourth year in a row, Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold gave an energy-filled performance medley of songs including “It Don’t Mean A Thing,” “Dancing In The Street,” “Dancing Machine,” “Rhythm of The Night” featuring music legend El DeBarge, the “Real Love” Remix, and “Have Mercy.”
Jazmine Sullivan Wins Award For “Best R And B/Soul Female Artist”
The popular singer-songwriter took home the first award of the evening for “Best R&B/Soul Female Artist.” Sullivan gave an emotional and transparent acceptance speech, expressing her gratitude to the R&B and soul genre.
Ciara, Russell Wilson, and Marley Receive “Souls of Justice” Award
In a moving video tribute, Ciara and Russell Wilson, and Marley Dias received Souls of Justice Award.
Ari Lennox’s Mesmerizing Set
Ari Lennox sang “Pressure” while walking across the stage in a beautiful, all-white ensemble accented with white feathering.
Lucky Daye Performs “Over”
New Orleans native Lucky Daye delivered a sultry performance of his song, “Over.” The track samples Music Soulchild’s classic record “Halfcrazy.”
Fred and Gary Hammond Bring Gospel To The Soul Train Stage
Gospel stars Fred and Gary Hammond and choir took to the Soul Train stage with a performance of “Yahweh” and the powerful “Let the Praise Begin.”
Marzz and Elhae Sing On The BET Amplified Stage
Artists Marzz and Elhae also gave memorable performances on the BET Amplified stage sponsored by Ford. Following separate introductions from Mack Wilds and Tone Stith, Marzz and Elhae wowed the audience with captivating renditions of “Countless Times” and “FOMO,” respectively.
Silk Sonic Takes Home “Video of the Year”
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak and Silk Sonic won the “Video of the Year” Award for the visuals for “Leave The Door Open.”
Soul Cypher Artists Perform Over Aaliyah’s “Rock The Boat” Instrumental
This year’s highly anticipated Soul Cypher, presented by AT&T, was hosted by DJ D-Nice and featured Tone Stith, Koryn Hawthorne, Jac Ross, Elle Varner and Musiq Soulchild. As a nod to the 20th Anniversary of her self-titled album Aaliyah, the late R&B great’s hit single “Rock the Boat” provided both the theme and instrumental for the cypher.
Ashanti Receives “Lady of Soul” Award
R&B/Soul singer Ashanti received the “Lady of Soul” award at this year’s ceremony. After being presented the award by Normani, Ashanti spoke about her longevity in the music industry and the struggles she faced along the way. The songstress later returned to the stage for an electrifying performance of some of her biggest hits including “Happy,” “Rain On Me,” “Baby,” and fan-favorite “What’s Luv” alongside Fat Joe. Ja Rule then joined Ashanti to perform “Always On Time.” Ashanti closed the set with her #1 hit, “Foolish.”
Captivating Performances From Leon Bridges and Summer Walker
Singer/songwriter and producer Leon Bridges performed a soulful rendition of “Details,” followed by R&B/Soul sensation Summer Walker singing “Unloyal,” joined by Ari Lennox and saxophonist Casey Benjamin.
Jazmine Sullivan Wins “Album of the Year”
In her second win of the night, the soul songstress took home “Album of the Year” for her fourth studio project Heaux Tales. She also gave another amazing acceptance speech, seeking to uplift all women of color.
Maxwell Accepts the “Living Legend” Award and Delivers Unforgettable Performance
Maxwell was presented with the Ford-sponsored Legend Award by Jazmine Sullivan. Maxwell accepted the award and expressed gratitude, visibly moved by the emotional moment. The singer then brought soul to the stage, performing a medley of his classics including “Til the Cops Come Knockin’,” “Bad Habits,” “Sumthin’ Sumthin’” and closed his set with “Ascension.”