Ahead of the show’s season 2 premiere on May 27, American Soul has unveiled a trailer and several first look images of actors and singers who are transforming into iconic music stars for the BET Soul Train-inspired drama.
The official description for the second season: Inspired by the personal trials and professional successes of a young, ambitious and troubled impresario Don Cornelius, the period drama picks up two years later in 1975. As Don becomes a rising star, he continues to manage an assortment of spectacular talent that comes to his show, a complicated family life, failing personal health, and perhaps most importantly, his ego.
Returning stars alongside Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius include Kelly Price, Jason Dirden, Iantha Richardson, Katlyn Nichol and Christopher Jefferson.
Check out the trailer, extensive list of guest stars and first look images below:
Big Boi will portray George Clinton, who, wearing a fur vest and star-shaped shades, appears in a purple haze at a recording studio to rehearse with Parliament-Funkadelic and two of James Brown’s band members.
Ledisi will play Patti LaBelle. Patti and LaBelle perform on “Soul Train,” but the band performs to a music track while Patti sings live. Patti gets into a little riff with Tessa over her drummer’s attitude.
Melanie Fiona will portray Chaka Khan, the talented, charismatic lead singer of the funk band Rufus and appears with them on “Soul Train” singing “Once You Get Started.”
Demetria McKinney will depict June Pointer, the hot-headed, trouble-making member of the legendary Pointer Sisters.
London Brown will portray Bootsy Collins, a vibrantly attired, colorful character who is a famous member of George Clinton’s band, Parliament-Funkadelic. He used to work with James Brown and cracks jokes at his expense when Brown shows up at Clinton’s rehearsal in a huff.
Darius McCrary will play James Brown, the Godfather of Soul who makes an appearance on “Soul Train” with his band.
Tone Bell will depict Richard Pryor. Smart, quick, outrageous and crude, Richard is a brilliant comedian who’s famous for his irreverent acts that are peppered with an extremely bad word. Richard is a guest host of “Soul Train” where he knows he has to watch his language and behavior. Behind the scenes, however, he doesn’t.
Yung Joc will portray Gary Shider, a guitarist with Parliament-Funkadelic who is famous for wearing an “adult diaper” in his performances. When he offers to give the furious James Brown a shiatsu massage to calm down, Brown almost explodes.
D.C. Young Fly will depict Sly Stone, the very eclectic, but often troubled front man of Sly and the Family Stone. He strolls into Soul Train to meet Don with his band, which includes a black llama. He also has a reputation for leaving before he does his show.
Christopher B. Duncan will play Ray Bradley, a kind, down-to-earth man who has adopted JT’s little sister Aiya after she ended up in the system.
Kearran Giovanni will portray Ruby Daniels in a recurring guest role as a beautiful femme fatale with ties to the mob. She’s a deadly acquaintance of Gerald Aims and has come to town to fill the void left by another mobster’s death. Though Don comes to know Ruby as a savior to his beloved “Soul Train,” Gerald knows her true intentions and fears she will surely thwart his efforts in becoming a legit businessman.
Alex Ball will play Dick Clark, the host of “America Bandstand.” He and Don are basically in the same business – only Dick has already been in the game for 15 years. He makes nice when he runs into Don on the “Soul Train” lot, but he’s ready to lash out and let Don know who the top dog in the conversation is.
Hudson Thames will portray Elton John, a young British rock star in Los Angeles at the infamous Chateau Marmont eager to meet Don. When Don gets to the hotel, Elton begs to be on “Soul Train” and asks for an audition.
Photo: Annette Brown/BET