Soul Train Awards Honor Whitney Houston, Don Cornelius

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Whitney Houston loomed large at the 2012 Soul Train Awards which were taped Nov. 8, but aired Nov. 25. She and Jordin Sparks earned Best Inspirational Gospel Performance for “Celebrate,” from “Sparkle,” which was Houston’s last film.

New Edition received the Lifetime Achievement Honor. New Edition member Bobby Brown and Houston had a famously rocky relationship, chronicled in the reality show Being Bobby Brown. The R & B singer thanked his bandmates for their support over the years.

“I want to thank my brothers for sticking by me at all times,” Brown said. “I want to thank all of you for always having my back no matter what I’ve been through in my life. I’m still standing on my feet.”

The group performed a medley of their greatest hits, including “Candy Girl,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” and “If It Isn’t Love.”

This was the first Soul Train Awards since the suicide of Don Cornelius, the visionary creator of the show. The show’s tribute looked at the impact Soul Train had on the world of dance. No matter your ethnic background, everyone knows exactly what a “Soul Train” line is. Tony Cornelius was on hand to remember his father.

“The magnitude of creative genius can spawn a movement that lasts a lifetime and that movement was, and is, Soul Train,” he said. “My father saw… something that could spiritually connect everyone in the world. Uplifting our minds, our bodies and our spirits — Don Cornelius was responsible for that. He danced his own dance.”

Frank Ocean won Album of the Year channel ORANGE. Sorry, you still can’t buy it at Target. Ocean set off a huge debate by coming out as bisexual. For years, people wondered whethered the hip-hop community would embrace someone who came out. Being talented certainly helps out.

Tyrese won the coveted “Song of the Year” Award for “Stay.” John Legend won Record of the Year for “Tonight (Best You Ever Had),” a collaboration with hip-hop star Ludacris. Beyonce continued her hot streak with wins for Best Female R & B Artist and Best Dance Performance for “Love on Top.”

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