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Today’s leading R&B and soul music stars have a ton of new things to celebrate this afternoon with the release of the official Soul Train Awards 2010 nominee list beginning to circulate.

Let’s take a look at who made the cut for this year’s show, which will be filmed live at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta on November 10th for re-air on BET and CentricTV on November 28th.

New mother Alicia Keys and R&B’s comeback kid Usher have taken the list of nominees by storm, each leading with placement in four categories. Keys, who just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy with producer Swizz Beatz, on last Friday, is up for Best R&B/Soul Artist Female, Song of the Year (for her hit duet with Drake on “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready),” plus Album of the Year (for her trailblazing album The Element of Freedom) and Record of the Year – again for “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready).”

Usher, on the other hand, is representing for the fellas – and undoubtedly trying to reclaim his throne. Can he really do it? You tell us. I don’t know how well that new album has done because I vowed not to pick up anything after Confessions for fear of immense disappointment. He’s going to go for though in the four categories he’s nominated: Best R&B/Soul Artist Male, Song of the Year (for that haunting track “There Goes My Baby”, Album of the Year (for Raymond vs. Raymond), and Best Dance Performance.

To check out who else is scheduled to compete for a 2010 Soul Train Music Awards, visit CentricTV.com. In the meantime, let’s look at who’s scheduled to slaughter the stage this year so far.

CURRENT FEATURED PERFORMANCES:

R. Kelly

Opening the show for the second year in a row, I’m sure this is the performance that just might save R&B. Well, maybe that’s a stretch, but I do believe that with the new single “When a Woman Loves,” this one is definitely going to be something to see. I just hope there’s a band, too. Come on Kells, we need you to shut this one down.

Erykah Badu

I have not much to say about Ms. Badu because this is just one I can’t wait to see. Having seen her live three times, she gets better and better every time. I’m thinking she’ll get up and do some sort of medley from the new album. Although we loved us some “Window Seat” this summer, I’m ready to see what else she pulls out of that fro…or the blonde mohawk…or whatever sky high hairdo she decides to rock. Just be ready for anything because Badu always brings it!

Janelle Monae

She’s been on everyone’s radar whether you totally understand her or not, but I pray she delivers something that vocally challenges these amateurs in the game. She’s got talent oozing out of her petite frame at every angle, but you know how fickle black folks can be. Yes, I said it! Y’all been sleepin’ on her – or better yet, y’all have been sleepin’ on what’s different. It takes someone like her to wake us up and stir some creativity into our southern cups of tea. But if she takes any kind of cue from her Wonder Twin (Ms. Badu), she doesn’t give a flyin’ lotus what y’all think so just get ready to be mesmerized once again by Janelle Monae’s talent and creative mind.

Freddie Jackson

The show’s performance lineup would simply not even get close to being complete without a soul legend gracing the stage. There’s not much to say besides get ready to jam like we used to with Freddie Jackson’s legacy live on the Soul Train Awards stage. I have no clue what he plans to perform, but I can almost guarantee it’ll be something to remember with a bit of much-needed old school soul flavor added to the mix.

Cee-Lo

Ever since Cee-Lo joined forces with Danger Mouse to create the astonishingly successful duo Gnarls Barkley, there’s been no stopping him. I hear this dude is about to show up and show out at this year’s awards ceremony. Quite frankly, I’m excited because the world gets to see and hear what many of us love to pieces quietly at home and in concert halls and bars all over the country. Let’s just hope the people get it, too. I’m ready, but are you?

Now of course we’ll be back periodically as more and more updates become available, but here’s the official glimpse into what’s turning out to be a great show. Let’s just pray no one acts a fool before or during the show. What do you think of the preliminary lineup? Let us know by posting on the message board below.

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