Soul Train Awards 2020: Y'all Thought the Hip Hop Awards Was the Only Show With a Cypher?!

Chanté Moore, PJ Morton, Stokley Williams and Shanice perform during the 2020 Soul Train Awards presented by BET.
Chanté Moore, PJ Morton, Stokley Williams and Shanice perform during the 2020 Soul Train Awards presented by BET.
Photo: Leon Bennett/STA 2020/Getty Images for BET (Getty Images)

Black Hollywood has awakened from its Thanksgiving weekend ‘itis-induced nap and prepared itself for yet another awards show! This time, it’s the Soul Train Awards, presented by BET.


Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold were the hosts for the night once again—the only difference is they weren’t MC-ing on a huge stadium stage. This awards show was much more intimate, like a cool laid-back concert at the House of Blues.

“This is the year of the Black woman!” Arnold exclaimed, right after the two ladies performed their very own showcase of the “Savage” Challenge (which is pretty damn popular at awards shows this year, I see). And yes, they brought their sister-friend banter just the way we love it. Arnold even jokingly sang Campbell’s “Steel Here” and I fell out.


The Soul Train Certified Award went to Brandy! “God is more than good,” Brandy gushed as she accepted the award.

Kirk Franklin took home the Best Gospel/Inspirational award and accepted it at home, too—in his pajamas!


“R&B is not dead, it’s in everything. We are forever!” H.E.R. said in her acceptance speech when she won the Best R&B/Soul Female Artist award.


H.E.R. presented Monica with the Lady of Soul Award. “To everyone who has ever supported me, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart because the little girl who was constantly told what she couldn’t do did it because you’ve been there and because you’ve continuously supported me,” Monica mused in her speech. She then reminded everyone why she was named Lady of Soul with a reminiscing rendition of her hits including, “Everything to Me,” “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days),” “Before You Walk Out Of My Life, “Angel of Mine” and “So Gone.”



Brandy performed snippets of “Say Something” and “Borderline” from her album, B7.


Ella Mai brought us sparkly pinstripe fitted zoot suit vibes with her performance of “Not Another Love Song.”

Jazmine Sullivan took us back to Black & White and a segregationist stage with her performance of “Lost One” then we were back in color with “Pick Up Your Feelings.”


Andra Day reminisced about her first time on the BET stage when she introduced Moses Sumney on the Soul Train Awards Amplied Stage. Sumney performed a haunting rendition of “Bless Me.” Ella Nicole later joined the Amplified Stage, performing “Easy.”

Oh, you thought the BET Hip Hop Awards was the only show that brings the cypher? Nope, the Soul Train Awards brought the Sultry Soul Cypher (which was Erykah Badu-themed) featuring Stokely, Shanice, PJ Morton and Chanté Moore. If I weren’t working, I’d probably be relaxing in a bubble bath right now.


Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis introduced their “friend and collaborator” Babyface, who was joined by Lucky Daye. The OG passing the torch to the current, right on stage with “Shoulda,” which sampled Toni Braxton’s “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” a song that Babyface co-wrote. This was a full-circle moment!


CeeLo Green brought the Go-Go energy with “Baby Please Don’t Go-Go” and Snoh Aalegra took us to an ethereal galaxy with “I Want You Around.”


Charlie Wilson and Smokey Robinson had the OG aunties satisfied with their song, “All of My Love.”


Wilson also remained onstage to pay tribute to the late Rance Allen.

And yes, there was a Soul Train line at the end—well...a socially distanced Soul Train line. Last but not least, DJ Cassidy closed out the night with a Pass The Mic afterparty that had everyone out of their seats. It may not have been a packed stadium, but the energy was loud! Jody Watley, Sheila E, Morris Day, Chaka Khan and more! Y’all!!!


The full list of the 2020 Soul Train Awards winners (including those that weren’t televised) are below:


Best New Artist – Snoh Aalegra
Soul Train Certified Award –Brandy
Best R&B/Soul Male Artist – Chris Brown
Best R&B/Soul Female Artist – H.E.R.
Video of the Year – Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, Saint Jhn & Wizkid “Brown Skin Girl”
Best Gospel/Inspirational Award – Kirk Franklin
Album of the Year – Summer Walker “Over It”
Rhythm & Bars Award – Megan thee Stallion “Savage”
Song of the Year – Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award – “I Can’t Breathe,” Written by H.E.R.
Best Dance Performance – Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
Best Collaboration Performance – Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.


Pass the Mic was awesome. A celebration of timeless music and artists that are part of Black DNA. Jason Whitlock, Candace Owens and Cubic Zirconium & Polyester wouldn’t understand.