Hey, anyone notice that the Soul Train Music Awards didn’t happen this year? Well, after last year’s debacle, during which damn near NO ONE who won an award showed up, the organizers decided to pull the plug on the show after two decades.

Well, one definite reason the Soul Train Awards’ power faded was because of the advent of the BET Awards. Since it’s inception in 2001, it has become the place where R&B, rap and gospel’s elite united to be honored. Add in the fact that they honor the film, television and sports world as well, and…well, I think the rest of this paragraph kinda writes itself.

Anyway, this year’s nominees were announced today, and the leading nominee is…



Yup, Tallahassee’s finest (forgive me, Tallahasseans, I know no better) received five nominations, and not a one for his own work. Thank Kanye West, Chris Brown and Flo-Rida for the plethora of T-Pain love. Man, he has got the easiest job of anyone in the music industry. Dude doesn’t even have to sing.

Anyway, the other multiple nominees were pretty standard: the aforementioned West and Brown, plus Li’l Wayne, Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys, among others. Pleasant surprises included the love shown Erykah Badu, who got a pair of noms, plus the presence of British export Estelle in the Best New Artist category. Also nice to see Raheem DeVaughn get a pair of noms, and they recognized Chaka Khan, who’s made arguably the best R&B album in the past 12 months (Although they tossed her in the “BETJ” AKA “Old Fogey” category).

A head scratcher included the entire Best Female Hip-Hop category. Any category in which Kid Sister and Li’l Mama are among your finalists should probably be scrapped sooner than later.

Still,this promises to be an interesting show, with performances from Usher, among others,and the lifetime achievement award set to go to Rev. Al Green. The show airs live on June 24th, and you can find a complete list of nominees here: http://www.bet.com/specials/betawards08/