Live songs to stoke 'Soul Train' awards

By Edna Gundersen

LOS ANGELES - The hip-hop choo-choo collides with the R&B express on Friday night's 10th annual Soul Train Music Awards, airing from the Shrine Auditorium (syndicated; check local listings).

TLC leads the pack with four nominations (three of them for hit single Waterfalls), followed by Michael Jackson, D'Angelo and Monica with three each.

Seasoned diva Patti LaBelle, who performs Over the Rainbow, gets the Heritage Award for career achievement, won in the past by Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Jackson. Bill Cosby will introduce hot-selling R&B vocal quartet Boyz II Men as entertainers of the year.

Statuettes take a back seat to the show's heavy freight, the live performances. Three are songs by the hosts: L.L. Cool J's Loungin', Brandy's Sitting Up in My Room and Anita Baker's I Apologize.

Also taking the stage will be Mary J. Blige, Not Gon' Cry; TLC, Kick Your Game; Yolanda Adams, Open Arms; Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans, One More Chance; and Seal.

Other nominees in jazz, gospel, R&B and rap include Whitney Houston, Jodeci, Mariah Carey, Quincy Jones, Solo, Coolio, Dr. Dre, Brian McKnight, Method Man, Fourplay, Keiko Matsui, Boney James, Groove Theory, Xscape, Pat Metheny, Kirk Franklin, Shirley Caesar and 2Pac.