Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak have been on the awards show circuit all year in support of their new project, Silk Sonic, but no appearance has felt more appropriate than the group’s takeover of the Soul Train Awards on Sunday evening.
This year’s Soul Train Awards were a landmark affair celebrating the 50th anniversary of the music-dance TV show for which they are named—a program that for decades helped define Black music and culture and, transitively, guided American culture in a broad sense. In Silk Sonic, the milestone show found its ideal stars: a new sensation cut from the Soul Train cloth that somehow manages to be just as relevant as it is reverent.
The show’s producers, BET, made sure to highlight this convergence of “then” and “now,” prominently featuring Silk Sonic on a retro-stylized Soul Train set throughout the show. When the show began, there were Mars, .Paak, and company onstage, ready to fire up the engines with their first-ever public live performance of “Fly As Me”, the venerable Maurice “Mobetta” Brown holding down the trumpet as part of an augmented backing band.
Bruno and Andy repeatedly graced the stage throughout the show to pick up not one (The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award), not two (Video of the Year), but three (Song of the Year) awards for their first Silk Sonic single, “Leave The Door Open“, and offer up plenty of banter with hosts/former Martin co-stars Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold. Then, as the evening was winding down, Silk Sonic once again got the call to perform, returning to the stage to close the Soul Train Awards with an immaculately choreographed rendition of “Smokin Out The Window”.
Truly a match made in ’70s Heaven. Long live Soul Train. Long live Silk Sonic. Watch the two Silk Sonic Soul Train Awards performance videos below and read Live For Live Music‘s full review of An Evening With Silk Sonic here.
Silk Sonic – “Fly As Me” – Soul Train Awards 2021
Silk Sonic – “Smokin Out The Window” – Soul Train Awards 2021
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While Silk Sonic has no tour dates on the books (we can only hope they’re coming), Maurice Brown has a steady stream of gigs lined up in the coming days and weeks including Saturday, December 4th at Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club in Portsmouth, NH and Saturday, December 18th at Martyrs’ annual “Holiday Jam” in Chicago featuring Isaiah Sharkey, MonoNeon, Blaque Dynamite, Cory Henry, and more [get tickets here].