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It was a sooooulful Sunday, thanks in large part to the Soul Train Awards. But, as with any awards show, what happened during the telecast was only a fraction of the good stuff.

Erykah Badu hit the stage as the host and brought a little snark with her along the way. The awards show was all about Soul, no rap allowed, so when Iggy Azalea fake called Ms. Badu asking if she could attend, Erykah responded, “You can come because what you’re doing is definitely not rap.” The internet lost it’s mind and it was quite entertaining.

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OK, so yes, Erykah, did shade the hell out of Iggy. And yes, it was funny. But it’s not the only thing that happened. There was of course some soulful performances. Just take a look at R&B legends Boyz II Men, Fantasia, Brandy, Bobby Brown and Tevin Campbell all unite with Legend Award honoree Babyface for a tribute.

But, before the celebs hit the stage or grabbed their seats, HipHollywood caught up with them on the red carpet – and of course, they gave us the good stuff. Chrisette Michele dished wedding deets, Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey talked about her mom, Vanessa Williams, Silento revealed music plans, plus so much more. Click through the videos below to check out all of our exclusives.

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Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice



Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.

On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.

It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.

So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.

“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”

Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”

And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.

For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”

Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.

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