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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Soul Train Awards leave Atlanta for soul-sucking Vegas, baby!

Cee Lo Green stole the show at last years Soul Train Awards in Atlanta
  • picture group courtesy of bet networks
  • Cee Lo Green stole the show at last year's Soul Train Awards in Atlanta
That's right. The annual Soul Train Awards, which the cable network and show producer Centric has filmed in Atlanta for the past three years, is packing up in 2012 for Sin City. From the sounds of AJC music reporter Melissa Ruggieri's post, Vegas made the network an offer it couldn't refuse.

A spokesperson for Centric said Las Vegas presented unique opportunities to include a comedy showcase and concert to supplement the iconic awards show, which is expected to take place in November.

Besides, just imagine all the plush facilities Vegas has to offer; Atlanta has the Civic Center — make that the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.

Could this mean Atlanta is falling out of fashion as the "black entertainment mecca?" Or maybe this is Atlanta's first post-TSPLOST loss? Random speculation aside, this particular decision probably has a lot more to do with Centric/BET's attempt to get more bang for its buck and cut production costs for a show that has never had an identity specifically tied to Atlanta. The BET Hip Hop Awards, on the other hand, which has called Atlanta home since 2005, will still be shot here on Sept. 29 of this year.

Considering that the BET Hip Hop Awards has been dominated by artists representing the rap capital, 2 Chainz will likely play a big role at this year's show when it airs on Tues., Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. Although the Atlanta soul scene is nothing to sleep on, R&B/soul is traditionally less of a region-specific genre than rap. But it is worth noting that last year's Soul Train Awards almost became the Cee Lo Green show — complete with a performance from Goodie Mob in honor of Heavy D.

Coincidentally, Cee Lo was due to be in Vegas during the scheduled Soul Train Awards taping anyway, before his Las Vegas show "Cee Lo Green IS Loberace" was postponed until 2013 for him to honor his commitment to "The Voice." Another former Atlantan, funkster Sleepy Brown of Organized Noize, now calls Las Vegas home and is busy developing talent there for his new label 13 Black Records. So yeah, maybe Vegas has some soul after all — courtesy Atlanta, of course.

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