The “Soul Train Awards” (red carpet photos) taping isn’t until tonight at the Georgia World Congress Center, but the music industry parties got going an evening early all over town.
After a public meet-and-greet at Carol’s Daughter in Lenox Square, R&B singer/producer Ryan Leslie hosted a more intimate, private dinner across the street at Twist. The tastemakers Universal Motown executive Terrell Henderson invited to hear and discuss Leslie’s new CD “Transition” – in stores today – included Sol Fusion promoter J Carter; Hot-107.9’s Beyonce; event planner I’na Saulsbery; retailers Desiree Williams and Tobago Benito; photographer Shannon McCollum; blogger Gyant; publicist Saptosa Foster and “Tardy For The Party” producer Don Vito.
“Besides being here for Soul Train (Awards), it’s really important for me to get to know the people in Atlanta who make it happen,” said Leslie, adding that he is planning to be back in town to perform next month.
From Twist, Vito and others made their way downtown to Uptown Restaurant and Lounge where former LaFace Records executives Kawan “KP” Prather and Shanti Das hosted a reunion for their one-time co-workers at the influential Atlanta label.
“Just because LaFace Records, the company, isn’t operating anymore, the people at LaFace still are,” said Prather. “So it only made sense to get us together again, and keep these talented people connected.”
Among the LaFace alum in attendance were its superstar Usher, Bryant Reid, Rashan Ali, Tony Mercedes, Sharliss Asbury and Tamiko Hope; along with fellow local industry powers Ludacris, Devyne Stephens, Courtney “Bear” Sills, Jamahl King and Catherine Brewton – who had just left yet another party she was honored at. Again, it was that kind of night.
Hosted by actors Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, the show will air 9 p.m. Nov. 29 on BET.
– Special report to accessAtlanta from Sonia Murray