NEW YORK, NY – November 16, 2023 – Today, BET announced Grammy®-nominated global superstar and visionary Janelle Monáe as the recipient of the ‘Spirit Of Soul’ award at “Soul Train Awards” 2023. For the first time ever, the award show renames its iconic ‘Lady of Soul’ category to honor the diversity and inclusivity of this year’s recipient. They are a force to be reckoned with in the worlds of music, film, fashion, and advocacy. A champion for the LGBTQIA+ community and advocate for mental health awareness, Janelle Monáe defies stereotypes and pushes boundaries with their chart-topping music and captivating on-screen roles. “Soul Train Awards” 2023 recognizes the best in Soul, R&B, and Hip Hop from established industry legends and the next generation of promising artists. Hosted by multitalented actress, singer, and entrepreneur, Keke Palmer, “Soul Train Awards” 2023 premieres Sunday, November 26 at 8 PM ET/PT on BET and BET Her.


“Janelle is one of the most talented forces in the entertainment industry, and an equally impactful change agent for Black LGBTQIA+ people to see themselves fully reflected across platforms. We are thrilled to honor Janelle’s talents on soul music’s biggest stage, “Soul Train Awards,” said Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy. “Janelle’s captivating sound is as multifaceted as Janelle’s many other talents within film, business, and social impact. BET is where Black Pride lives onscreen. We look forward to honoring this dynamic individual with the newly named “Spirit of Soul’ award as we continue to create inclusive spaces for diverse voices to be seen, heard, and celebrated.”


BET Soul joins “Soul Train Awards” 2023 celebration by dedicating a full hour to the honoree’s collection of music videos. Watch many of Janelle Monáe’s bold, stunning music videos tomorrow, 11/17 at 11 AM and 7 PM ET. Check local listings.


Taping in Los Angeles, CA, BJ The Chicago Kid, Coco Jones, Dante Bowe, Fridayy, Keke Palmer, Muni Long, and SWV are set to perform. Summer Walker, SZA, and Usher lead nominations with an outstanding 9 nods, marking a historic three-way tie. The official “Soul Train Awards” 2023 nominees were selected by a voting academy of esteemed music industry insiders, performers, and presenters. For the complete list of nominees for “Soul Train Awards” 2023 click HERE.


The “Soul Train Awards” 2023 presented by BET will feature an exciting lineup of electrifying performances, special moments and appearances by some of the brightest stars in Black culture and entertainment. The annual event is committed to showcasing the impact of Soul Train on music and dance, from the ‘70s to today.


Connie Orlando, EVP, Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy will oversee the annual show and Executive Produce for BET with Jamal Noisette, Executive Producer, VP, Specials & Music Programming. Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment, to serve as Executive Producer of “Soul Train Awards” 2023 along with Jesse Collins Entertainment’s Jeannae Rouzan–Clay and Dionne Harmon.

About Janelle Monáe

Photo Credit: Mason Rose

Janelle Monáe is without question one of the most celebrated artists of the modern era, a 10x GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, performer, and fashion icon known worldwide for her inimitable style and visionary sound. With multiple celebrated albums, THE ARCHANDROID (2010), THE ELECTRIC LADY (2013), DIRTY COMPUTER (2018), and THE AGE OF PLEASURE (2023), numerous critically-acclaimed theatrical and television performances, and her unwavering activism for social justice and the LGBTQIA+ community, Monáe continues to be one of the most compelling and important artists of this generation.


Due to the format of this year’s show, media credentials for “Soul Train Awards” 2023 are invite only. To be added to our asset’s distribution e-mail list post-taping, including images, video, and more, please email



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About BET Media Group

The BET Media Group, a unit of Paramount (NASDAQ: PARAA; PARA; PARAP), is the world’s largest media company dedicated to entertaining, engaging, and empowering the Black community and championing Black culture. Connecting Black audiences through a portfolio of brands including BET, BET+, BET Gospel, BET HER, BET International, BET Jams, BET Soul, BET Studios, and VH1, the BET Media Group is a thriving media ecosystem of leading interconnected platforms across cable TV, streaming, digital, studios, live events and international.


For more information about BET, visit and follow @BET on social platforms. For more BET news announcements, follow us on social @BET_PR.


About Jesse Collins Entertainment

Founded in 2012, Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE) is a full-service Emmy winning production company that has played an integral role in producing many of television's most memorable moments in music entertainment.  JCE's award-winning and critically acclaimed television includes programming from its three divisions.  From the scripted division: scripted series—Real Husbands of Hollywood, American Soul and miniseries—The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story.  From the unscripted division: unscripted series – Gabrielle Union: My Journey to 50, Oh Hell No! With Marlon Wayans, Cardi Tries, My Killer Body with K. Michelle, DJ Cassidy's Pass the Mic and Forward: The Future of Black Music, competition/game shows—Becoming A Popstar, Rhythm + Flow, Sunday Best, Hip Hop Squares and Nashville Squares, talk shows – Yara Shahidi's Day Off and Face to Face with Becky G, and children's series—Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices (Daytime Emmy Award winner).  From the specials division: award shows—The Emmy Awards, The American Music Awards, BET Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards, Black Girls Rock!, BET Honors, UNCF's An Evening of Stars and ABFF Honors, specials—The Super Bowl Halftime Show (Primetime Emmy Award winner), The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama & Oprah Winfrey (Primetime Emmy® Award nominee), Lil Rel Howery: I said it. Y'all thinking it., CNN's Juneteenth: A Global Celebration of Freedom, Martin: The Reunion, John Lewis: Celebrating A Hero, "Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration", "Change Together: From The March On Washington To Today" A GRAMMY Salute to the Sounds of Change, "Stand Up for Heroes", Dear Mama, Amanda Seales: I Be Knowin', Def Comedy Jam 25, "Leslie Jones: Time Machine", The All-Star Nickmas Spectacular and Rip the Runway.  Emmy winner Jesse Collins, Founder and CEO, is the executive producer of all JCE programming.  He is also an executive producer for the Grammy Awards.  Collins produced the 2021 Oscars and 2022 Golden Globes.



“Soul Train” was created in 1971 by visionary Don Cornelius and predominantly featured performances by R&B, pop, soul, and hip-hop artists, in addition to the occasional funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists. When the final episode of the show’s historic thirty-five-year run aired in 2006, it was the longest-running first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history. “Soul Train” highlighted a cast of incredible, ethnically diverse dancers who famously introduced the world to a whole new series of dance moves and styles on a weekly basis. Cornelius opened every show welcoming the audience to “the hippest trip in America” and closed each show wishing the audience “love, peace, and soul.” Today, the legacy of “Soul Train” lives on through the legendary Soul Train dance line, which has become a timeless staple on dance floors across America. In 2016, BET, acquired the “Soul Train” brand and remains dedicated to revitalizing the brand while also honoring its heritage.


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