Year of the Newcomer at Soul Train : * Pop music: Color Me Badd, Jodeci and Lisa Fischer sweep key awards during the sixth annual R&B;/soul awards competition.


Can you imagine a Soul Train Awards ceremony where such superstars as Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston and Hammer could only manage a single award among them?

That’s what happened Tuesday night at the Shrine Auditorium, where newcomers Color Me Badd, Jodeci and Lisa Fischer swept key awards during the sixth annual R&B;/soul awards competition.

Prince, Hammer and Jackson continue to do well on the charts, but they obviously didn’t impress the 3,000 radio programmers, retailers and recording artists who vote in the annual competition--not enough to overcome the challenge of the talented newcomers anyway.

Color Me Badd, an Oklahoma City quartet that was unknown this time last year, won the battle of the hot new R&B; vocal groups by winning two awards in the nationally televised program: best group single and song, both for “I Wanna Sex You Up.”


Two other young outfits each won a single award. Jodeci’s “Forever My Lady” was named best album by a group, while Boyz II Men captured best new artist honors. Fischer, whose debut album was released last year, defeated veterans Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle and Natalie Cole in the best female single record competition with “How Can I Ease the Pain.”

In fact, the only veteran to win big was Natalie Cole, who picked up awards in the best album by a female and jazz album categories. Both awards were for “Unforgettable,” which was also the dominant winner last month in the Grammy Awards.

Though Prince lost to Jodeci in the group album category, he was honored for career achievement. The introverted star, who usually avoids awards shows, received the evening’s biggest ovation when he accepted the Heritage Award. Janet Jackson was also honored with the Sammy Davis Jr. Award as entertainer of the year.

Keith Washington’s “Kissing You” was the surprise winner in male single balloting over Michael Jackson’s “Black or White,” while Hammer’s “Too Legit to Quit” topped Jackson’s “Black or White” in the best video voting.


Other winners: Public Enemy (rap album), Luther Vandross (male album) and BeBe & CeCe Winans (gospel album).