Erykah Badu Returns as 2017 Soul Train Awards Honor Industry Legends and Newcomers

Solange Knowles and Bruno Mars have soul. At least, BET thinks so.

The network has announced nominations for the BET Presents: 2017 Soul Train Awards, an annual ceremony that recognizes the best in soul, R&B and hip-hop music, honing in on artists from the 1970s—or newcomers whose music is evocative of the disco era.

So far, Solange is leading with seven nominations, including video of the year and song of the year for her hit single, Cranes in the Sky.

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Now Coming to BET: An Extra Helping of Soul

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Since 2009, BET has delivered an icon of American culture to screens across the land in the form of the annual Soul Train Awards on Centric, reviving a legacy that stretched back to the original Soul Train musical variety show that rose from the early 1970s and ran until 2006.

Earlier this week, the network made a more substantial commitment, acquiring the whole of Soul Train, including a massive television archive of more than 1,100 episodes and 40 specials.

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Centric ‘Soul Train’ Gains Steam

by Carly Zipp, BET

Cedric the Entertainer onstage at Centric's 3rd Annual Soul Train Awards at the Fox Theatre on Nov. 17, 2011 in Atlanta. (Photo: Paul Abell/PictureGroup)

As Monday’s Content Distribution and Marketing strategy meeting came to a close, Ashley Culp, Centric’s vice president of Partner Marketing, got a little excited. 

“Centric started out as the little engine that could, and now we’re a big revved up Soul Train,” he said.

Culp’s got a point. The 24-hour channel for African-American and multicultural adult viewers continues to steadily pick up steam. Since the network launched in 2009, Centric has posted year-over-year growth in every successive quarter, and last year ranked among the top 10 for fastest growing cable networks.

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