'American Soul' Star Sinqua Walls Talks Exploring 'Soul Train's Origins

John Griffiths
Preview Jace Downs/BET

Who knew Soul Train was loaded with backstage turmoil?

In this throwback '70s drama, maverick Don Cornelius (Sinqua Walls, Power) pushes to turn his new R&B dance show into an American Bandstand–level phenomenon, sacrificing family time to lure performers such as Tina Turner (Gabrielle Dennis), Diana Ross (Michelle Williams) and Gladys Knight (Kelly Rowland, covering "Midnight Train to Georgia").

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Missing the scoundrels of 'Billions' and the scheming family of 'Succession'? Suit up for this Don Cheadle-starring Showtime series.

"Even when he was hosting, he was thinking of ways to make Soul Train better," Walls says of the late impresario. As Cornelius dodges showbiz sharks, his acts bring their sequined baggage (like Turner's abusive marriage).

One lovely development, according to exec producer Jesse Collins (The New Edition Story): After Knight appeared, she and Cornelius "became lifelong friends."

American Soul, Series Premiere, Tuesday, February 5, 9/8c, BET