'Soul Train Awards' Honors Heavy D and Gladys Knight

The stars of Hip-Hop and R&B stepped out for the “2011 Soul Train Awards.”

R&B legends Earth Wind and Fire, Gladys Knight and recently passed Hip-Hop icon Heavy D were some of the artists honored at the event.

The show aired last night on BET, but was taped on Nov. 17 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, and brought out the best, brightest in the music industry, and Hollywood.

In honor of a career that spans over four decades, Gladys Knight was presented with the Legends Award. Before her acceptance, she was greeted with performances by singers Marsha Ambrosius, Natalie Cole, Chrisette Michele and female gospel sensations Mary Mary.

Each singer performed a version of Knight’s greatest hits like “Midnight Train to Georgia.” After her acceptance speech, Gladys Knight was joined on stage with BeBe Winans to perform the song “I Need You.”

Adding to the night’s festivities, artists Robin Thicke, Joe and Eric Benet gave their renditions of Earth Wind and Fire’s top hits before presenting the legendary band with their award.

In a heartfelt tribute to Heavy D, a clip from the "1991 Soul Train" awards was shown where Heavy D and the Boyz won a trophy for their second album “Big Tyme.”

After the brief trip down memory lane, Doug E. Fresh, Naughty by Nature, Goodie Mobb, Whodini, Kurtis Blow and Big Daddy Kane all took the stage to perform some of Heavy D’s classic hits, including “Mr. Big Stuff.”

Ironically, Heavy D gave his final live performance at this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards.

The 44-year-old rapper died suddenly on Nov. 8, after collapsing in his Beverly Hills home. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward, but the Los Angeles coroner's office has not announced an official cause of death.

The “2011 Soul Train Awards” re-airs on BET on Tuesday at 8 p.m.