The legacy of music icon Michael Jackson and his massive 1982 album Thriller was honored at the 2022 Soul Train Awards.
R&B acts Muni Long, Durand Bernarr and Alex Vaughn, along with gospel singer Tasha Cobbs Leonard paid tribute to the King of Pop during this year’s Soul Cypher.
With D-Nice in the DJ booth, they freestyled and sang over the soothing beat from Jackson’s 1982 classic “Human Nature,” lifted from his Thriller album.
“Human Nature” reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week that ended Sept. 17, 1983. It spent 14 weeks on the main singles chart.
Years later, Jackson’s “Human Nature” was repurposed by various R&B artists, including SWV (“Right Here [Human Nature Remix]“) and Chris Brown (“She Ain’t You“).
The legendary trio’s 1993 single, which appears on their 1992 debut album, It’s About Time, peaked at No. 1 for seven weeks on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart.
Meanwhile, Brown’s 2011 hit, taken from his Grammy-winning album F.A.M.E., soared to No. 5 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
Circling back to Jackson, Thriller celebrated its 40th anniversary on Nov. 30. A special expanded edition, Thriller 40, was released in advance of the occasion, featuring two discs. Side one featured all the original songs from Thriller, while disc two included unreleased recordings from Thriller sessions.
Thanks to Thriller reissue, the massive album jumped 283% to re-enter the Billboard 200’s top ten at No. 7 this week.
The last time Thriller ruled within the top ten of the big albums chart was during the week of June 30, 1984, when it placed at No. 8. To date, Thriller now spent 549 weeks on the Billboard 200.
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Shifting back to the Soul Cypher participants, Long was a highlight at this year’s Soul Train Awards. She won The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award “Hrs and Hrs.”
The platinum-selling track, which appears on her debut album Public Display of Affection: The Album, also is up for two trophies at the 65th Grammy Awards.
Additionally, Long opened the Soul Train Awards with the first-televised performance of “Plot Twist.” It, too, is from Long’s 2022 debut effort.
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Bernarr released his sophomore album, Wanderlust, in September. He will support the album with his headlining Wanderlust Tour, which begins Feb. 13, 2023.
As for Vaughn, she shared her official debut project, The Hurtbook, via LVRN/Interscope Records. It followed her short-and-sweet EP, Voice Notes, released in May.
Vaughn recently recorded a new holiday song titled “Christmas Come Home.” It appears on the LVRN’s seasonal compilation, Home for the Holidays Vol. 2.
Watch the 2022 Soul Cypher featuring Muni Long, Durand Bernarr, Alex Vaughn and Tasha Cobbs-Leonard. below.