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|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||120 minutes|
|Original network||Black Entertainment Television (BET)|
|Original release||June 26, 1981 – September 1996|
Video Soul is a 2–hour long American music video program that originally aired on The Black Entertainment Network (BET) 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 Colour policy effective. Both BET and Video Soul served as the place of refuge for new African American musical talent. The expanded 2-hour long Primetime version debuted on June 26, 1983 and aired from 9-11 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Thursdays. A top 20 countdown aired Friday nights, 9-11 p.m. Eastern Time as well. Throughout the early-mid-1990s, until the show ended, it aired from 8-10 PM eastern time.
Virgil Hemphill was the original first host of the series, dubbing himself as the "Reverend Eldorado". After Hemphill left the series, Donnie Simpson became the show's most prominent veejay although he joined the show a few years after it premiered. Sherry Carter (who was 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.
Other Video Soul Formats
Video Soul Top-20 aired on Fridays, it showcased the hottest top-20 videos of the week. It would also be 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 that were requested by viewers, who called a 1-900 number to request the video they wanted to hear. Throughout its run, Sherry Carter hosted unseen when she became a host for Video Soul in 1992.
- 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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