Kurtis Blow

Chris McKay/FilmMagic

The Root: What were your thoughts on Heavy D's death?

KB: Just to see someone like that that's here today and gone the next day is really, really shocking. I don't know anyone on the planet who ever said anything bad about Heavy D. Everyone loved him. That's why I'm here to pay tribute to him. We're going to do this tribute in the opening of the [awards]. A lot of rappers have come in town to do this thing. There's a united front together to pay tribute to that great, great legend, Heavy D.

Lance Gross

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Advertisement

TR: What's your favorite Soul Train moment?

LG: I just love the old school Soul Train episodes [from] before my time. I can watch it all day … I've tried the robot a couple of times. I can't do it as good as them, but it's always fun to watch.

Marsha Ambrosius

Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Advertisement

TR: How's everything been for you since dropping your album Late Nights & Early Mornings earlier this year?

MA: It's been a wild ride. I'm working on a second album. But I'm not telling you [when it's coming out]. [Laughs.]

T.J. Holmes

Skip Bolen/WireImage

Advertisement

TR: There's a tribute to Heavy D tonight — were you shocked when you learned about his death?

TJH: I was second row at the BET Hip-Hop Awards when he performed last. We all jumped up out of our seats, of course, when he got up there onstage. I feel so blessed to have been able to be there and see that moment … He was able to be on top in hip-hop without having to use profanity, with having a sweet message that quite frankly you don't hear a lot in music.

Phaedra Parks  

Moses Robinson/Getty Images

Advertisement

TR: What are some things that viewers of The Real Housewives of Atlanta can look forward to this season?

PP: We're going to South Africa, and this is the first time in this franchise that we've traveled abroad. Of course you're going to see some good fights, but you're going to see some touching moments that you couldn't imagine. You're going to see us come together and us come apart, but at the end of the day it's going to be beautiful. 

Malcolm-Jamal Warner  

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Advertisement

TR: What are your thoughts on Heavy D's death?

MJW: It was a big surprise to all of us, and definitely a great loss. He was truly a great dude. When people pass on, people tend to hold them up like they were really a great person — but Heav really was a good dude, and he had a great heart. 

Basketball Wives' Tami Roman  

Maury Phillips/WireImage

Advertisement

TR: What's your favorite Soul Train moment?

TR: Evelyn "Champagne" King. I remember being a young girl and … I was like, "wow, she's a real style icon." She had this blond hair and sparkly shirt on and she was singing. 

Montell Jordan

David Livingston/Getty Images

Advertisement

TR: What projects are you working on?

MJ: I'm a worship pastor now. I'm in full-time ministry at Victory World Church here in Norcross, Ga. … We just recently recorded an album called Shake Heaven. It's an awesome worship album, and it's just hot music. Whether you're a Christian or not, it's just great music.  

Robin Thicke  

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Advertisement

TR: What is your favorite Soul Train moment?

RT: I think it's going to be tonight because I get to sing Earth, Wind & Fire's "Reasons." That is one of the biggest honors that I will ever have in my life. And I'm very excited. 

Bushwick Bill

Amy Tierney/WireImage

Advertisement

TR: You're working on a new album, Bushwick Bill Taking It Back, about taking it back to when people learned something from rap. You don't think people learn much from hip-hop today?

BB: When I first came into rap music and I first heard the word copacetic I had to open up a dictionary and go look up the word. But in today's music they ain't using no vocabulary — and any words with substance, really. 

Michael Baisden  

Moses Robinson/Getty Images

Advertisement

TR: What's your favorite Soul Train moment?

MB: I still watch the old Soul Train tapes with James Brown and the Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson and the Sylvers. It really is music history. I'll tell you what's really interesting to see: how skinny everybody was back then. You know why? Because they didn't have this mess in the food and people were moving — we were dancing, we were going out doing things, we were more mobile.

Algebra Blessett  

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Advertisement

TR: What does it mean for you to be here tonight with some of the other artists?

AB: It reminds me that I actually do this for a living. When you love a lot of different artists and you can be in the same space as them, it makes you go, "OK, I'm doing something right." I'm very humbled by it more so than anything — to be here with my friends and people that I admire.

Boney James  

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Advertisement

TR: What's your favorite Soul Train moment?

BJ: I played with Morris Day when the Time first broke up, like in 1985, and I was a keyboard player. That was my first professional job, and we got to appear on Soul Train. So that is my favorite Soul Train moment.