MOBO Awards

Last updated

The MOBO Awards
MOBO logo.png
Awarded forExcellence in black music
CountryUnited Kingdom
Presented byMOBO Organisation
First awarded1996
Television/radio coverage

The MOBO Awards stands for "Music of Black Origin" and was established in 1996 by Kanya King and Andy Ruffell. The MOBO Award show is held annually in the United Kingdom. Since its inception in 1996, the MOBO Awards has become one of Europe’s biggest and most influential music award ceremonies, celebrating excellence in black music in the UK and internationally for more than 20 years in the musical fields of hip-hop, grime, RnB, soul, reggae, jazz, gospel, and African music. The MOBO Awards are seen[ by whom? ] as a UK equivalent to the BET Awards and Soul Train Awards.

Kanya King, is the founder of the MOBO Awards.

Black music is an umbrella term that organizes music created, produced, or inspired by black people, people of African descent, including African music traditions and African popular music as well as the music genres of the African diaspora, including Afro-Caribbean music, Afro-Latino music, Afro-Brazilian music and African American music. These genres include negro spiritual, gospel, rumba, blues, bomba, jazz, salsa, R&B, samba, rock and roll, calypso, soul, cumbia, funk, ska, reggae, dub reggae, house, detroit techno, hip hop, gqom, afrobeat, funk carioca, and country.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.


Music of black origin in Britain received its first serious journalistic coverage in Black Music magazine (1973–1984).

<i>Black Music</i> (magazine) British music magazine

Black Music was a pioneering British music magazine, published monthly. The first issue came out in December 1973 and the last in April 1984.. It was the first publication in the United Kingdom to write about reggae as a serious cultural phenomenon and also the first to cover African music.

In 1996, the MOBO Awards was the first black music awards of its kind to be televised on mainstream terrestrial television, where it was first broadcast on Carlton Television from London's Connaught Rooms. Across its 22-year history, the MOBO Awards has been broadcast on Channel 4, BBC Television, ITV2 and most recently Channel 5.

Carlton Television ITV franchise holder

Carlton Television was the ITV franchise holder for London and the surrounding counties from 9.25am every Monday to 5.15pm every Friday. The company is now managed with London Weekend Television as a single entity, but the two companies are still separately licensed. The station is owned and operated by ITV plc under the licensee of ITV Broadcasting Limited. Carlton has been branded on air as 'ITV1' since 28 October 2002, and as 'ITV' since 14 January 2013. Carlton legally exists as Carlton Television Ltd. This company is, along with most other regional companies owned by ITV plc, listed on as a "Dormant company". As Carlton's name has no relation to its region, its on-screen identity has been completely removed. Other regions have kept their original company name as a region name and in their local news name.

Channel 4 British free-to-air television channel

Channel 4 is a British public-service free-to-air television network that began transmission on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the station is now owned and operated by Channel Four Television Corporation, a public corporation of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which was established in 1990 and came into operation in 1993. With the conversion of the Wenvoe transmitter group in Wales to digital terrestrial broadcasting on 31 March 2010, Channel 4 became a UK-wide TV channel for the first time.

BBC Television company

BBC Television is a service of the BBC. The corporation has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a royal charter since 1927. It produced television programmes from its own studios from 1932, although the start of its regular service of television broadcasts is dated to 2 November 1936.

In 2009, the awards ceremony was held for the first time in Glasgow. Prior to that, it had been held in London. In 2011, the ceremony returned for a second time to Scotland. The awards then moved to Leeds for the first time in 2015. The awards show returned to Leeds in 2017. In 2018, organisers announced that the ceremony would have a one-year hiatus in order to plan a "bigger, revamped show" in 2019. [1]

Glasgow City and council area in Scotland

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as "Glaswegians" or "Weegies". It is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow is also known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language that is noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom, as well as the largest city within the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Leeds City in England

Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England. Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city. It also has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is ranked as a gamma world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. Leeds is served by four universities, and has the fourth largest student population in the country and the country's fourth largest urban economy.

The first MOBO award was presented to UK trio Baby D, in the Best Dance Act category. [2]

Baby D is an English breakbeat hardcore and house music group, best known for their UK #1 single "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" in 1994.

From the outset MOBO has played an instrumental role in the careers of numerous UK artists such as Stormzy, Craig David, Rita Ora, Ms Dynamite, Krept and Konan and Kano.

Stormzy African grime and hip hop artist

Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr., better known professionally as Stormzy, is an English rapper.

Craig David English singer

Craig Ashley David is an English singer, songwriter, rapper and record producer who rose to fame in 1999, featuring on the single "Re-Rewind" by Artful Dodger. David's debut studio album, Born to Do It, was released in 2000, after which he has released a further five studio albums and worked with a variety of artists such as: Tinchy Stryder, Big Narstie, Kano and Jay Sean. David has 20 UK Top 40 singles, and seven UK Top 40 albums, selling over 15,000,000 records worldwide as a solo artist.

Rita Ora British singer and actress

Rita Sahatçiu Ora is an English singer, songwriter and actress. She rose to prominence in February 2012 when she featured on DJ Fresh's single "Hot Right Now", which reached number one in the UK. Her debut studio album, Ora, released in August 2012, debuted at number one in the United Kingdom. The album contained the UK number-one singles "R.I.P." and "How We Do (Party)". Ora was the artist with the most number-one singles on the UK Singles Chart in 2012, with three consecutive singles reaching the top position.


The ceremony was first broadcast regionally on ITV and produced by Carlton Television from 1996 to 1997 before moving to Channel 4 (aired nationwide) from 1998 until 2003. Since 2004 the awards have been broadcast by the BBC, and in 2006 the show was aired live for the first time in its history on BBC Three, and repeated two days later on BBC One. Highlight shows were broadcast on BBC One in a late-night timeslot.

In 2014, the awards show moved to ITV2 in a three-year partnership contract due to the BBC launching its own pop music awards. A full repeat was broadcast later the same evening on the main ITV channel.

In 2017, the awards show was broadcast on Channel 5 and BET.

Table summary

No.DateFirst broadcastBest AlbumBest SingleHonorary awardsBroadcasterHost(s) [3] Venue
118 November 1996 [4] 21 November 1996 Timeless Goldie "Give Me a Little More Time" – Gabrielle Lionel Richie
Jazzy B
Carlton Television (ITV)Sonya SaulNew Connaught Rooms, London
210 November 199713 November 1997 [5] Travelling Without Moving Jamiroquai "I Wanna Be the Only One" – Eternal ft. BeBe Winans Bootsy Collins
Mick Hucknall
Lisa I'Anson
314 October 199815 October 1998 Colours Adam F "Freak Me" – Another Level BB King
Sean Combs
Channel 4 Mel B and Bill Bellamy Royal Albert Hall
46 October 19997 October 1999 Prodigal Sista Beverley Knight "My Love" – Kele Le Roc Tina Turner
Erskine Thompson
Mel B and Wyclef Jean
54 October 20005 October 2000 Rise Gabrielle "Fill Me In" – Craig David LA Reid
Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes and Trevor Nelson Alexandra Palace
64 October 20016 October 2001 8701 Usher "Independent Women Part 1" – Destiny's Child Luther Vandross
R Kelly
Trevor Nelson and Kelis London Arena
71 October 20023 October 2002 Songs In A Minor Alicia Keys "It Takes More" – Ms Dynamite Chaka Khan
Jimmy Cliff
Street Politiks
Alesha Dixon and LL Cool J
825 September 20034 October 2003 Get Rich Or Die Tryin' 50 Cent "In Da Club" — 50 Cent George Benson
Kool & The Gang
Lil' Kim
Lil Kim and Blu Cantrell Royal Albert Hall
930 September 20046 October 2004 The College Dropout Kanye West "Thank You" – Jamelia Anita Baker
Janet Jackson
BBC One Mos Def
1022 September 200523 September 2005 Time To Grow Lemar "Pow! (Forward)" – Lethal B Public Enemy
Bob Marley & The Wailers
Gina Yashere and Akon
1120 September 200622 September 2006N/A"Déjà Vu" – Beyoncé Sam Moore
Anti-Slavery International
BBC One (highlights)
BBC Three (live coverage)
Gina Yashere and Coolio
1219 September 2007"Because Of You" – NeYo N/A Jamelia and Shaggy The O2 Arena
1315 October 2008 Spirit Leona Lewis "American Boy" – Estelle Mary Wilson Mel B and Rev. Run Wembley Arena
14 30 September 2009 Uncle B N-Dubz "Beat Again" – JLS Michael Jackson Reggie Yates and Keri Hilson Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC)
1520 October 2010 JLS – JLS"Playing With Fire" – N-Dubz ft. Mr Hudson Billy Ocean Alesha Dixon and Reggie Yates Echo Arena Liverpool
165 October 2011 Who You Are Jessie J "Do It Like A Dude" – Jessie J Boyz II Men Alesha Dixon and Jason Derulo SECC
173 November 2012 Our Version of Events Emeli Sandé "Earthquake" – Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah Dionne Warwick
Miquita Oliver and Adam Deacon Echo Arena Liverpool
1819 October 2013 Home Rudimental "La La La" – Naughty Boy Stephen Lawrence Trust Trevor Nelson and Sarah-Jane Crawford The SSE Hydro
1922 October 2014 In the Lonely Hour Sam Smith "Stay with Me" – Sam Smith Idris Elba (Inspiration) ITV2 (live coverage)
ITV (deferred)
Mel B and Sarah-Jane CrawfordWembley Arena
204 November 2015 The Long Way Home Krept and Konan "Shutdown" – Skepta Lenny Henry
CeeLo Green
Sarah-Jane Crawford First Direct Arena
214 November 2016 Made in the Manor Kano "Robbery (remix)" – Abra Cadabra ft. Krept & Konan Nicola Adams
Ms. Dynamite
Rickie Haywood Williams and Melvin Odoom [6] The SSE Hydro
2229 November 2017 Gang Signs & Prayer Stormzy "Did You See" – J Hus Idris Elba (Paving The Way) Channel 5 (deferred)
BET (highlights)
Maya Jama and Marvin Humes [7] First Direct Arena [8]


In the course of its history, the MOBO Awards show has witnessed performances from UK and international talent. Over the years, artists have included Janet Jackson, Destiny's Child, Dionne Warwick, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Tina Turner, Rosie Gaines, Dizzee Rascal, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Amy Winehouse, Coolio, Usher, John Legend, Jason Derulo, and Jessie J.

In 2000, Sade came out of retirement to perform at the Awards, her first performance in almost a decade.


Kanya King launched the MOBO awards in 1996, aiming to establish a platform for music that, according to King, encompasses urban, hip hop, R&B and reggae. After failing to raise support for her plan, she raised funds by re-mortgaging her house. [9]



The 1997 award ceremony was held at London's New Connaught Rooms on 10 November. The gala included performances by Mary J. Blige and Eternal.


The MOBO Awards show was held at The Royal Albert Hall and hosted by Mel B and Bill Bellamy. It was broadcast nationally by Channel 4. Performers and presenters included footballer Sol Campbell, girl band All Saints, DJ Trevor Nelson, boxers Lennox Lewis and Chris Eubank, Puff Daddy, Chaka Khan, Goldie, Another Level, and Martine McCutcheon. Contribution to Black Music went to Carl McIntosh and B.B. King won the Lifetime Achievement Award.


The 1999 award ceremony was held at The Royal Albert Hall, sponsored by Malibu and hosted by Mel B and Wyclef Jean. International Hip-Hop Act Award went to Jay-Z, Best Album was awarded to Beverley Knight, International Act to Lauryn Hill and Lifetime Achievement Award to Tina Turner. Performers and presenters included Des'ree, Dru Hill, Tim Westwood, Lionel Richie, Lulu, Victoria Beckham, Chris Eubank, Another Level, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Destiny's Child, and girl band Eternal.





In 2003, the MOBO awards show moved to The Royal Albert Hall and was hosted by Blu Cantrell and Lil' Kim, with performances from DMX, Lumidee, Wayne Wonder, George Benson, Lemar, Seal, Mis-teeq and Redman, J'Nay John Adeleye, Big Brovaz, The Black Eyed Peas and Kool and the Gang. Among the winners of the night were: 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake, Big Brovaz and Lisa Maffia, who was the only UK female artist to win an award.


The ninth awards ceremony took place on 30 September 2004 at The Royal Albert Hall and was broadcast by BBC Television. Janet Jackson received the icon award. So Solid Crew won the award in the UK garage Act category award beating Dizzee Rascal and The Streets. Controversy surrounded the removal of reggae artists Vybz Kartel and Elephant Man from the "Best Reggae Act" category at the 2004 awards due to their homophobia and incitement to murder. [10]


The 2005 awards show saw one of the biggest line-ups in MOBO award history, including John Legend, Ms Dynamite, Lemar, Kano, Damien Marley, Public Enemy and Lauryn Hill. The event was hosted by Gina Yashere and Akon at The Royal Albert Hall, with guest presenters Chris Eubank, Lisa Maffia, Josie Darby, Simon Webbe, Myleene Klass, Estelle, Tim Westwood, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Chuck D. Big winners on the night included Corrine Bailey-Rae, Lemar, The Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Sean Paul and Beyoncé.


In 2006 the awards ceremony was hosted by Coolio and Gina Yashere at The Royal Albert Hall. For the first time the World Music and Jazz categories were suspended. Corinne Bailey Rae won the prize for Best UK Newcomer. British rapper Akala won Best Hip Hop Act, beating stiff competition from American acts such as Kanye West, 50 Cent, and The Game.


The 2007 awards ceremony was broadcast live on BBC Three from the O2 Arena in London and hosted by Shaggy and Jamelia. The jazz category returned. Shaggy opened the evening with a medley. T-Pain performed on stage with Yung Joc, Craig David and Kano collaborated on stage; Ne-Yo, Mutya Buena and Robin Thicke also performed. Amy Winehouse performed two songs and accepted the award for Best UK Female. N-Dubz won Best Newcomer. England cricketer Monty Panesar and England footballer Micah Richards were among a line up of guests presenting individual awards which also included Sinitta and Quentin Tarantino.



The 2009 awards event took place on 30 September at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow, the first time the MOBO awards show took place outside London. A tribute performance was dedicated to Michael Jackson, and the Young Soul Rebels performed their charity single "I Got Soul". Reggie Yates and Keri Hilson hosted the awards show, with Peter Andre presenting backstage.


The awards ceremony took place on 20 October 2010 in Liverpool. [11]


The awards show returned to Glasgow's SECC on 5 October 2011, hosted by Jason Derülo and Alesha Dixon. Jessie J won four awards, making her the biggest winner of the night. Boyz II Men received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Other winners included Rihanna, Tinie Tempah, Adele and Alborosie. Amy Winehouse was given an award and a special tribute, following her death in July 2011.


The 17th Awards show took place on 3 November 2012 at the Liverpool Arena. Presented by Miquita Oliver and Adam Deacon - with backstage support from Rickie and Melvin - the night saw Trey Songz, Conor Maynard, Emeli Sandé, Misha B, JLS, Stooshe, Labrinth, Angel and Wiley perform.

Emeli Sandé won awards for Best Female, Best Album and Best R&B/Soul while Plan B took Best Male Act and Best Hip Hop/Grime. TLC were awarded Outstanding Contribution to Music, with Dionne Warwick receiving the MOBO Lifetime Achievement Award. The full list of winners where:


The 18th Awards show took place on 19 October 2013 and was held at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. It was hosted by Trevor Nelson and Sarah-Jane Crawford. Performances included Tinie Tempah, Iggy Azalea, Naughty Boy, Rudimental and Jahméne Douglas. [12]

The winners were:


The 19th Awards show took place on 22 October 2014 and was held at The SSE Arena in London. It was hosted by Mel B and Sarah-Jane Crawford. It was broadcast live on ITV2 for the first time.


The winners were:


The 20th Awards show took place on 4 November 2015 and was held at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. [13] The show was broadcast live on ITV2 and hosted by Sarah-Jane Crawford.


The winners were:


The 21st Awards show took place on 4 November 2016 and was held at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow. The show was broadcast live on ITV2 and hosted by Rickie Haywood Williams and Melvin Odoom.

Tinie Tempah was due to perform, but pulled out hours before the show. He was replaced by Professor Green.

An error saw the wrong act given the award for Best Song. "Of the many worthy winners of best song, we deeply regret a mistake was made," said Mobo organisers, in a statement blaming a "production error."


Popcaan ft Sneakbo- Only Man She Wants + Too Cool Fekky ft Section Boyz- Madting, Sadting

The winners were:


The MOBO Awards 2017 took place at Leeds First Direct Arena on November 29. Stormzy won three awards while Stefflon Don's award made her the only female winner on the night. [14]



DJ and music journalist "Bigger" criticises the awards for "veering away from its concept of rewarding music of black origin", suggesting this process started to occur during the second year of the awards though only became a major problem from the 2000 awards onwards. He cites winners such as Steve Jackson and Mick Hucknall as evidence that the awards were being "diluted", despite the huge influence Hucknall in particular has had on the modern British soul scene. He also criticises the increasing American domination of the event and commercialisation, arguing that by its fourth year MOBO stood for "music of big organisations". [15]

See also

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