Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold to return as co-hosts of 2021 Soul Train Awards

The duo have hosted the annual awards ceremony the last three previous years, and are set to co-produce as well.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. As the Soul Train Awards heads to the New York for the first time, the familiar faces of Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold are coming along too as co-hosts, once again.

Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold
Tisha Campbell (L) and Tichina Arnold perform during the 2019 Soul Train Awards at the Orleans Arena on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

The 34th annual Soul Train Awards will be held at the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York next month, and BET has announced that Campbell and Arnold are returning as co-hosts of the ceremony, according to a press release. This year’s event will be commemorating the 50th anniversary for the long-running syndicated music television show that bares its name.

Soul Train premiered to a nationwide audience in 1971. Its creator and host Don Cornelius ushered in a musical show that was also an innovative forum for dance, fashion and culture. Airing until 2006, it’s the one of the longest-running syndicated American television programs in history, according to Britannica.

The show featured the music and performances of legendary acts like The Jackson 5, New Edition, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and the Pips, LL Cool J and Public Enemy, just to name a few.

Campbell and Arnold, real life best friends, made their marks by playing on-screen best friends in the Fox sitcom Martin. Campbell went on to star in other hit television series like My Wife and Kids and Last Man Standing. Meanwhile, Arnold also has been a mainstay in television, starring in Everybody Hates Chris, and films like The Last Black Man in San Francisco. In addition to hosting, Campbell and Arnold will be producing the award show as well.

This will be the fourth year in a row that Campbell and Arnold are co-hosting the Soul Train Awards.

Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold
Tisha Campbell (L) and Tichina Arnold co-host the 2019 Soul Train Awards presented by BET at the Orleans Arena on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BET)

“Producing and hosting the Soul Train Awards for the last three years with my childhood friend has truly been one of the high points of my life,” Campbell said in the release. “Yet, upon hearing Tichina and I would be filming at the World Famous Apollo this year, we literally lost our minds with excitement. It is already an extreme honor to be synonymous with Don Cornelius’ legacy, and now, to also walk in the footsteps of the multitude of African-American talent that graced the Apollo stage is mind-blowing to both of us!”

Arnold is thrilled that this year’s ceremony is taking place in her native city. “Returning to my hometown where it all began for us as young girls and hosting the iconic “Soul Train Awards” at the Apollo is a truly a childhood dream come true,” Arnold said in the release. “I’m honored to stand beside Tisha and take our place in history hosting and creatively producing such an iconic show.”

The 2021 Soul Awards also marks the return of a live in-person audience. The 2020 ceremony was produced virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by Billboard. This year’s award show will air Nov. 28 on BET and BET Her. The show will be overseen by Connie Orlando, EVP of Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy, who is happy for the return of Campbell and Arnold.

“We are thrilled to welcome back the incomparable pair, Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold, to host the ‘Soul Train Awards’ for a legendary night in Harlem at the World Famous Apollo,” Orlando said in the release. “Their energy, like that of the Awards, remains unparalleled. Our hosts are a great complement to this year’s special event, celebrating the legacy of Soul Train with electrifying performances that will keep everyone buzzing.” 

Nominees and performers for the 2021 Soul Train Awards have yet to be announced.

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