Decades after the groovy soul-music showcase "Soul Train" arrived on television sets across the nation, the 2010 Soul Train Awards are keeping the phenomenon's legacy on track by spotlighting a new generation of R&B voices.
This year's show will air Sunday, November 28, on BET and Centric, and MTV News hit the red carpet before the taping of the event to check in with some of the most respected songsmiths around today about "Soul Train" 's cultural impact.
"This is the platform for urban music and to be here today, for it to have so much longevity, this is it," "Sexy Can I" crooner Ray J said. "This is passion, this is love, this is music right here."
"The Soul Train Awards is history, man," hitmaking songwriter Sean Garrett added.
Rising R&B face Melanie Fiona agreed, acknowledging the longstanding influence of the iconic production.
"Soul Train Awards are great," she smiled. "They come with a lot of history. They come with a lot of celebration of great music. It's a great event and beautiful people, beautiful night."
For host Taraji P. Henson, the original television broadcast reminds the Hollywood veteran of "good times," and was a cultural touchstone for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" actress.
"I just remember learning how to dress and how to dance and wear my hair from 'Soul Train,' " Henson recalled fondly. "That's where I got all my fashion tips."
An array of inventive soul stars will hit the stage at this year's event, including Bruno Mars, Cee Lo, Chrisette Michele, R. Kelly, Keyshia Cole, Ne-Yo and Erykah Badu. R&B luminaries Anita Baker and Ron Isley will be honored as Soul Train Awards Legends.
Detroit soul star Dwele chatted about the enduring legacy of the enterprise, which remained on the air for 37 years and began dishing out coveted hardware in a separate awards show in the '80s.
" 'Soul Train,' period, is music. It's our music from back in the day and it's still relevant currently, and that's a beautiful thing," he said.
Co-host Terrence Howard, who returned with Henson to helm the event once again, maintained that the "Soul Train" phenomenon transcends music and reflects the game-changing strides made by African-Americans over the last few decades.
"It reminds me of the advancement that black people have made over the years 'cause 'Soul Train' really was the beginning of that Black Power movement when we actually could see ourselves. And to have an awards show based upon that 'Soul Train,' it's headed somewhere."
Who are you looking forward to checking out at this year's Soul Train Awards? Let us know in the comments!