Donnie Simpson revives ‘Video Soul’ 25 years after show went off the air
Tubi reboots show as "Donnie Simpson's Video Soul" after its long run on BET
Video Soul was one of the most popular Black music programs during its long run on BET.
Donnie Simpson, the long-time and charismatic host of Video Soul, was a key part of the show’s success. After 25 years of being off the air, Simpson has announced that he and the show are making a return online.
In a post on his Twitter page on Wednesday, Simpson disclosed the return of Video Soul with a 30-second video teasing its comeback.
“I’ve been waiting to say this for 25 years now…Video Soul Is Back!!!” he wrote in the tweet.
“I can’t tell you how many people over the years have suggested that I bring it back. I told them I would & today it’s official. Video Soul is live and free on #Tubi right now,” he continued.
The video features several artists, including Tichina Arnold, Young Joc, Syleena Johnson and Teddy Rile, heralding Simpson’s return.
Tubi, a free video streaming service, has posted the first six episodes of the revival, now dubbed Donnie Simpson’s Video Soul. Its current format does not include music videos, but features extensive interviews with hitmaking R&B acts like Hailey, Keith Sweat, and Tweet, producers like Riley and Jazzy Pha, rappers like Young Joc, The Fugees’ Pras Michal, and Gospel MC Lecrae.
Video Soul originally began airing on BET in 1981, the year the network was launched, according to IMDB. Simpson, a prominent radio host in the Detroit and Washington D.C. markets, began hosting the show in 1983 and remained its main host until its 1995 cancellation, according to his official website.
On the show, Simpson interviewed a full range of R&B and Hip-Hop acts like Stephanie Mills, Aaliyah, and Bobby Brown. It also featured live performances from artists like SWV and Stevie Wonder, all while carrying the hottest videos of the day.
Simpson has kept busy in the 25-year hiatus of Video Soul, hosting his nationally syndicated radio show The Donnie Simpson Show for over three decades. In 2015, he became the first non-musician to be inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2020.
Video Soul is not the only previously canceled BET show to get a reboot. The network announced that it will be reviving Rap City for a one-night special, Rap City ’21, on Oct. 5, just before The Bet Hip-Hop Awards ceremony broadcast. The popular hip show ran from 1989 to 2008.
Rap City ’21 will be hosted and executive produced by Big Tigger, who hosted the original series.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!