Joining McCrary is Alex Ball as Dick Clark, Tone Bell as Richard Pryor, Demetria McKinney as June Pointer, London Brown as Bootsy Collins, Hudson Thames as Elton John, DC Young Fly as Sly Stone and Big Boi as George Clinton.
The list doesn’t stop there. Also, guest-starring is Ledisi as Patti LaBelle, Yung Joc as Gary Shider, Christopher B. Duncan as Ray Bradley, Melanie Fiona as Chaka Khan, and Kearran Giovanni in a recurring role as Ruby Daniels.
American Soul stars Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius, the visionary, yet troubled, creator of the hit music television show, Soul Train. The series follows Cornelius’ triumphs and dark moments in the business; a business that routinely clashes with his distressing personal life.
Check out the official descriptions for the characters below:
McCrary’s James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, makes an appearance on Soul Train with his band.
Thames’ Elton John is 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.
Ball’s Dick Clark is the host of American 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.
McKinney’s June Pointer is the hot-headed, trouble making member of the legendary Pointer Sisters.
Brown’s Bootsy Collins is 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.
Bell’s Richard Pryor, smart, quick, outrageous and crude, is a brilliant comedian who’s famous for his irreverent acts that are peppered with extremely bad words. 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.
D.C. Young Fly’s Sly Stone is 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 of leaving before he does his show.
Giovanni’s Ruby Daniels is 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.
Big Boi is 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’s Patti LaBelle and the group, 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.
Fiona’s Chaka Khan is the talented, charismatic lead singer of the funk band Rufus and appears with them on “Soul Train” singing “Once You Get Started.”
Yung Joc’s Gary Shider is 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.
Duncan’s Ray Bradley is a kind, down-to earth man who has adopted JT’s little sister Aiya after she ended up in the system.
From Harlem to Hollywood, get the Black entertainment news you need in your inbox daily.