BET plans to host The Soul Train Awards at the famous Apollo Theater for the first time in the award show’s history.
The network announced the historical move on Monday. The show will air on November 28 at 8 pm.
“Don Cornelius’ brilliant vision created a revolutionary show that became a cornerstone in American culture. Fifty years later, the Soul Train Awards continues to amplify his powerful message of Love, Peace & Soul to a global audience,” Connie Orlando, BET’s EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy, said in a statement. “We are honored to be a part of the Soul Train legacy and partner with the national treasure that is the Apollo to celebrate Black excellence and culture with one unforgettable night of can’t miss moments.”
This year is the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the Soul Train television show and the 33rd year of the awards. The show debuted in 1971 and ended in 2006. Show creator Cornelius hosted the show from its inception until 1993, per The Daily Beast. Cornelius died in 2012 from suicide at 75 years old.
After the series finale, it was the longest-running first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history, as reported by Billboard.
The awards show premiered in 1988. Past shows have been hosted in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Last year’s festivities were virtual due to the pandemic.
The Apollo Theater is an iconic music venue in New York that opened in 1914. The Apollo is known for its lively crowd who will boo a performer if they suck and cheer on great talents. Multiple musical greats have graced the stage, including Lauryn Hill, James Brown and Luther Vandross.
“The Apollo has long been a center of Black cultural and creative innovation for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world,” said Kamilah Forbes, executive producer at the Apollo Theater. It has provided a platform for Black artists at all stages of their careers and a gathering place for audiences to express themselves freely. The Apollo is thrilled to partner with BET to host the Soul Train Awards, bringing together three iconic brands that represent Black culture and excellence under one roof.”