Watch Maxwell Sing A Medley Of Classics & Accept The Living Legend Award At The Soul Train Awards

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Watch Maxwell Sing A Medley Of Classics & Accept The Living Legend Award At The Soul Train Awards

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

The neo-soul legend Maxwell operates on his own timetable, but we’re seeing a rare burst of activity out of the man right now. A couple of weeks ago, Maxwell announced the impending release of the new album blacksummers’NIGHT, the third album in a trilogy that’ll span 13 years. Maxwell also shared the new single “Off” and announced a 2022 tour with Anthony Hamilton and Joe. Last night, he got a chance to show exactly what he can do onstage.

The occasion was the Soul Train Awards, the annual R&B awards show that airs on BET. Maxwell has put in some great Soul Train Awards performances in years past, and he gave another one last night. On the show, Jazmine Sullivan — who also won a couple of big awards last night, including Album Of The Year — presented Maxwell with the Living Legend Award. Accepting that award, Maxwell talked about growing up in poverty and said, “The radio was the window into my dreams.” He also thanked the late Don Cornelius, creator and original host of Soul Train, and he shouted out Haiti and Puerto Rico and talked about how important it felt, as a Caribbean Black person, to be included in the whole civil rights story. Here’s his acceptance speech.

But the speech was just the warm-up. Afterwards, Maxwell performed an 11-minute medley that spanned his whole career. He threw in a little bit of his new single “Off,” but he mainly stuck to classics: “‘Til the Cops Come Knockin’,” “Bad Habits,” “Sumthin’ Sumthin’,” “Ascension.” Maxwell sounded great and looked better. This man is 48 years old! He looks like he’s, what, half of that? At one point, Maxwell dropped into a split, and the crowd lost its mind. Here’s that performance.

The Soul Train Awards also featured a few more powerful performances. Silk Sonic, the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, opened the show with “Fly As Me” and then ended it with “Smokin’ Out The Window.” For both, they gave smooth, choreographed on a replica of the old ’70s Soul Train set. Watch both of those performances below.

Ari Lennox, rocking a feathery white thing, sang her recent single “Pressure.” Then, later on, she and Summer Walker sang their duet “Unloyal” together. Watch both of those performances below.

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