This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2014)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||120 minutes|
|Original network||Black Entertainment Television (BET)|
|Original release||June 26, 1981 –|
Video Soul is a two–hour long American music video program that originally aired on BET (Black Entertainment Television) from June 26, 1981 to September 1996. The program was devoted to showcasing R&B and Soul recording artists and performers' music videos.
Video Soul premiered on June 26, 1981 and was originally a half-hour show. The show was created after MTV refused to play videos by most African-American musicians, as MTV made the de facto color policy effective. Both BET and Video Soul served as a place of refuge for new African-American musical talent. The expanded two-hour long primetime version premiered on June 26, 1983 and aired from 9 to 11 p.m. E.T., Monday through Thursdays. A top 20 countdown aired Friday nights, 9–11 p.m. E.T. as well. Throughout the early to mid-1990s, until the show ended, it aired from 8 to 10 pm E.T.
Virgil Hemphill was the original first host of the series, calling himself the "Reverend Eldorado". After Hemphill left the series, Donnie Simpson became the show's most prominent VJ although he joined the show a few years after it premiered. Sherry Carter (who also hosted BET's Video LP, a half-hour-long video program) and Sheila Banks were the other hosts. Throughout its run, it was responsible for surprise guests, bringing groups/bands back together, memorable interviews, etc. A number of up-and coming artists had their first interview on Video Soul.
Video Soul Top-20 aired on Fridays, and showcased the hottest top 20 videos of the week. It was also known as The Coca-Cola Video Soul Top-20 Countdown, as Coca-Cola became a sponsor of the show. Video Soul By Request was a two-hour long video block on Saturdays. This edition premiered in mid-1992. It showcased videos requested by viewers who called a 1-900 number. Throughout its run, Sherry Carter hosted unseen when she became a host for Video Soul in 1992.
Donnie Simpson planned to bring back the program in 2019. It was unclear if it would be filmed in Washington D.C. like the original series. Two years later, the program eventually premiered on Tubi.
- Donnie Simpson (1983–1996)
- Sherry Carter (1992–1996)
- Sheila Banks
- Kenya Moore
- Brett Walker (1994–1996)
- Leslie "Big Lez" Segar (1994–1995)
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