soul train awards 2021

Maxwell and Ashanti Throw It Back With 2021 Soul Train Awards Medleys

Maxwell did a little sumthin’ sumthin’ at the 2021 Soul Train Awards, where he performed a medley of hits after being recognized with the Living Legend Award. The neo-soul pioneer took the stage for an extra-suave, 11-minute performance that included “… Til the Cops Come Knockin’,” “Bad Habits,” “Lifetime,” “Sumthin’ Sumthin’ (Mellosmoothe),” new single “Off,” and “Ascension.” Between getting the crowd to stand and sing along during “Sumthin’ Sumthin’,” Maxwell added a line to the song about Soul Train’s 50th anniversary. When he accepted the award from Album of the Year winner Jazmine Sullivan, at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Maxwell reflected on growing up in low-income housing in New York City. “The radio was the window to my dreams,” he said. “And to be able to stand here before all of you and to be part of the community of R&B and soul music is truly the award that I’ve always wished for, but this literally is blowing my entire mind.” The recognition came ahead of his upcoming album blacksummers’NIGHT, the third in a trilogy, which is currently set for spring 2022.

Ashanti also rained a career-spanning medley on the crowd in honor of her earning the night’s Lady of Soul Award. Backed by four shimmering, masked backup dancers, the R&B hitmaker ran through her songs “Happy,” “Rain on Me,” “The Way That I Love You,” and “Foolish,” and she brought out Fat Joe for “What’s Luv?” and a very enthusiastic Ja Rule for “Always on Time.” She’d performed with both rappers recently at their Verzuz battle as well, where she did “What’s Luv?” and Ja Rule’s “Mesmerize.” Ashanti’s performance came after she accepted her achievement award from performer Normani. “Some people may look at my journey and think it was easy. It was not,” Ashanti said. “My career has been filled with so many peaks and valleys, and it definitely wasn’t easy.” She also mentioned that 2022 will mark the 20th anniversary of her self-titled debut album, and she’s set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Maxwell and Ashanti Throw It Back at 2021 Soul Train Awards