The Puffster is up for top album (both the group award and Album of the Year), single, video and new artist honors, it was announced Wednesday. And even if voters don't think him worth in any of those categories, he won't suffer another AMA-like dissing--organizers have already promised to bestow Puff (real name: Sean Combs) with the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for entertainer of the year award.
Competing against Puff Daddy for Album of the Year is his slain pal, the Notorious B.I.G., who notched two nominations for the posthumous release, Life After Death. (Puff Daddy's tribute to B.I.G., "I'll Be Missing You," got nods for single and video).
Also racking up multiple nods were newcomers Erykah Badu and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Kirk Franklin's funky soul outfit, God's Property and Mary J. Blige. Whitney Houston will receive the Quincy Jones Award for career achievement.
The 12th annual installment of the Soul Train awards--which are based on a survey of 3,000 radio programmers and record retailers--will go down February 27 at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium. Patti LaBelle, Badu and Heavy D will host the live telecast.
Here's how the Soul Train race lines up:
Best R&B/Soul Single--Female: "One in a Million," Aaliyah; "On & On," Erykah Badu; "Everything," Mary J. Blige; "For You I Will" (from Space Jam), Monica
Best R&B/Soul Single--Male: "Don't Wanna Be a Player" (from "Booty Call"), Joe; "I Believe I Can Fly" (from "Space Jam"), R. Kelly; "For You," Kenny Lattimore; "You Make Me Wanna...," Usher
Best R&B/Soul Single--Group, Band or Duo: "In My Bed," Dru Hill; "Stomp," God's Property; "My Body," LSG; "I'll Be Missing You," Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112
Best R&B/Soul Album--Female: Baduizm, Erykah Badu; Share My World, Mary J. Blige; The Velvet Rope, Janet Jackson; Hard Core, Lil' Kim
Best R&B/Soul Album--Male: Emancipation, Prince; All That I Am, Joe; MTV Unplugged EP, Maxwell; Life After Death, Notorious B.I.G.
Best R&B/Soul Album--Group, Band or Duo: Evolution, Boyz II Men; Dru Hill, Dru Hill; God's Property, God's Property; No Way Out, Puff Daddy & The Family
Best R&B/Soul or Rap Album of the Year: Baduizm, Erykah Badu; Share My World, Mary J. Blige; Life After Death, Notorious B.I.G.; No Way Out, Puff Daddy & the Family
Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist: "On & On," Erykah Badu; "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)," Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott; "Stomp," God's Property; "I'll Be Missing You," Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112
Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video: "Put Your Hands Where My...," Busta Rhymes; "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)," Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott; "Mo Money Mo Problems," Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddy; "I'll be Missing You," Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112
Best Jazz Album: Uptown Groove Zachary Breaux; Presents West Side Story, Dave Grusin; Sweet Thing, Boney James; Black Diamond, Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman
Best Gospel Album: Living the Dream: Live in Washington, D.C., Canton Spirituals; So You Would Know, GMWA Gospel Announcers Guild Radio; God's Property, God's Property; Still Standing, Williams Brothers