The Soul Cycle: The 2019 BET Soul Train Awards Served Equal Parts Nostalgia and Newness

Tichina Arnold, left, and Tisha Campbell host the 2019 Soul Train Awards on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo: Gabe Ginsberg (Getty Images)

You can always count on the Soul Train Awards—now known as the BET Soul Train Awards—to stir up nostalgia, and this year’s ceremony was no different. Taking place on Sunday night at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, 2019's celebration was hosted by BFFs Tichina Arnold and Tisha Campbell, who set the “new-meets-nostalgia” tone with the show’s open, a Pose-meets-’90s-era Janet Jackson tribute mashup that featured none other than a vogueing (and judging) Mj Rodriquez.

But aside from the onstage antics of the aforementioned former Martin co-stars the show boasted any number of other familiar faces and voices, including a reunion of the Time with a tribute to esteemed hitmakers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and well-loved talents like Boyz II Men, Sounds of Blackness, Anthony Hamilton, Deborah Cox, Tank and Yolanda Adams (‘90s blue-eyed soul crooner Jon B. even made an appearance on the step-and-repeat).

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But there were plenty of newer talents in attendance, as well: Issa Rae, H.E.R., Luke James, Ro James, BJ the Chicago Kid, rising star Nicole Bus (who will be performing at the 2019 Rot 100 gala this week) and more were on-site, infusing fresh energy into the 32-years-and still growing awards ceremony.

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But despite the immense talent up and through the Orleans Arena, the biggest winners of the night weren’t on the Soul Train Awards teal carpet. Lizzo, who is slated to perform at this weekend’s American Music Awards, took home both the coveted Video of the Year award for “Juice” music video and Album/Mixtape of the Year for her album Cuz I Love You. Similarly, Cardi B wasn’t on hand to accept the “Rhythm & Bars” award for her hit, “Money” nor was Beyoncé to collect her Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award for “Brown Skin Girl”—notably, Blue Ivy’s first Soul Train Award, as a songwriter on the tune.

But this year’s award leader was Chris Brown’s “No Guidance,” featuring Drake, which took home Song of the Year, Best Collaboration Performance and Best Dance Performance, topping the evening with three wins.

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Of course, there were many more winners at the 2019 Soul Train Awards. Check out the full list of the night’s honorees below, via Entertainment Tonight.

Best New Artist

WINNER: Summer Walker
Lucky Daye
Mahalia
Nicole Bus
Pink Sweat$
YK Osiris

Rhythm & Bars Award

WINNER: Cardi B, “Money”
21 Savage feat J. Cole, “A Lot”
DaBaby, “Suge”
J. Cole, “Middle Child”
Meek Mill feat. Drake, “Going Bad”
Megan Thee Stallion feat. DaBaby, “Cash Shit”

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Best R&B/Soul Female Artist

WINNER: H.E.R.
Ari Lennox
Beyoncé
Lizzo
Mary J. Blige
Summer Walker

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist

WINNER: Khalid
Anderson .Paak
Bruno Mars
Chris Brown
Daniel Caesar
Tank

Album/Mixtape of the Year

WINNER: Cuz I Love You, Lizzo (WINNER)
Shea Butter Baby, Ari Lennox
Indigo, Chris Brown
Ella Mai, Ella Mai
I Used To Know Her, H.E.R.
Free Spirit, Khalid

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Song of the Year

WINNER: “No Guidance,” Chris Brown feat. Drake
“Before I Let Go,” Beyoncé
“Shot Clock,” Ella Mai
“Talk,” Khalid
“Juice,” Lizzo
“Girls Need Love (Remix),” Summer Walker feat. Drake

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Video of the Year

WINNER: Lizzo, “Juice”
Alicia Key, “Raise A Man”
Beyoncé, “Spirit”
Childish Gambino, “Feels Like Summer”
Khalid, “Better”

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The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award

WINNER: “Brown Skin Girl,” written by Beyoncé Knowles, Carlos St. John, Adio Marchant, Shawn Carter, Stacy Barthe, Anathi Mnyango, Michael Uzowuru, Ayodeji Balogun, Richard Isong (Beyoncé feat. Saint Jhn, Wizkid & Blue Ivy Carter)
“Hard Place,” written by H.E.R., David Harris, Sam Ashworth & Ruby Amanfu (H.E.R.)
“Juice,” written by Theron Thomas, Sam Sumser, Sean Small, Eric Frederic & Melissa Jefferson (Lizzo)
“Make It Better,” written by Brandon Anderson, William Smokey Robinson, Alaina Chenevert, Miguel Atwood Ferguson, Daniel Manman Farid Nassar (Anderson .Paak feat. Smokey Robinson)
“No Guidance,” written by Christopher Brown, Aubrey Graham, Anderson Hernandez, Josha Lewis, Michee Lebrun, Nija Charles, Teddy Walton, Noah Shebib & Tyler Bryant (Chris Brown feat. Drake)
“Talk,” written by Howard Lawrence, Guy Lawrence & Khalid Robinson (Khalid)

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Soul Train Certified Award

WINNER: Trevor Jackson
Ciara
Daniel Caesar
Fantasia
india.arie
Kelly Rowland

Best Gospel/Inspirational Award

WINNER: Kirk Franklin
Bebe Winans
Donald Lawrence
Erica Campbell
Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Tori Kelly

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Best Dance Performance

WINNER: Chris Brown feat. Drake, “No Guidance”
Beyoncé, “Spirit”
Danileigh feat. Chris Brown, “Easy (Remix)“
Lizzo, “Juice”
Normani, “Motivation”
Teyana Taylor, “WTP”

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Best Collaboration Performance

WINNER: Chris Brown feat. Drake, “No Guidance”
Ari Lennox feat. J. Cole, “Shea Butter Baby”
Beyoncé feat. Saint Jhn, Wizkid & Blue Ivy Carter, “Brown Skin Girl”
Cardi B & Bruno Mars, “Please Me”
PJ Morton & JOJO, “Say So”
Ty Dolla $ign feat. J. Cole, “Purple Emoji”

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Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.