I remember watching the Soul Train Music Awards in 2007. It was PATHETIC. Everyone that won an award that night accepted via videotape. It was like no one even cared to attend…the only big names I remember seeing that night were The Isley Brothers and Robin Thicke (who was just in the process of blowing up). It was like the BET Awards came and knocked everything out of the box.

Well, the Soul Train Awards are back. The BET and VH-1 merger network called Centric will be airing the 21st annual ceremony and it looks like the organizers have made this an event for the grown folks. This is almost completely an R&B award ceremony, making it a decent complement to the BET Awards, which are heavily hip-hop skewed.

This year’s big nominees are Beyonce Knowles and comeback king Maxwell, with four nominations each. Newcomer Keri Hilson also scored four nominations, including Best New Artist, where she’ll vie against Drake, Jazmine Sullivan, Ryan Leslie and Solange. Hmm, sounds like the Soul Train Awards have picked up the very Grammy-ish habit of selecting Best New Artist nominees who aren’t new artists.

To me, the strongest categories are Best Album and Best Male Artist. Beyonce is joined by Kanye West, Ne-Yo, Jamie Foxx and Maxwell in the former category. Maxwell leads the latter category, going against Raphael Saadiq, Robin Thicke, Charlie Wilson and Musiq Soulchild.

Wilson, of Gap Band fame, will be honored with a special achievement award at this event, along with the legendary Chaka Khan and the production team of L.A. Reid & Babyface. A special posthumous Entertainer of the Year award will be given to Michael Jackson.

The Soul Train Music Awards will air on 11/29 on both BET and Centric.