Neha Patil (Editor)

MOBO Awards

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United Kingdom

Official website

First awarded

MOBO Awards

Carlton Television (1996–97) Channel 4 (1998–2003) BBC One (2004–2013) BBC Three (2006–2013) ITV2 (2014–present)

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 to recognise artists of any ethnicity or nationality performing black music. 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 2015.


The Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards were established in 1996 to recognise and celebrate artists who create Black or urban music. The MOBOs may be the most prestigious but were not the first Black music awards show in the country. In Britain, the Black Music Awards (BMA) show ran from 1992 to 1996 in various venues in London. For non-music shows, the Afro Hair and Beauty show was set up by Dyke and Dryden beauty company in 1982, and is still an annual event in London.

The first MOBO award was presented to UK trio Baby D, in the Best Dance Act category. The MOBO Awards are seen as a UK equivalent to the BET Awards and Soul Train Awards for being the main award show in Britain to focus on Urban music.


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 is broadcast later the same evening on the main ITV channel.


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.


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.

  • Best Dance Act: The Prodigy
  • Best R&B Act: Shola Ama
  • Best Hip Hop: Funky DL
  • Best International Hip Hop: Coolio
  • Best Reggae Act: Finley Quaye
  • Best Jungle Act: Roni Size and Reprazent
  • Best Single: Eternal
  • Best Video: Will Smith
  • Best International Act: Blackstreet
  • Best Album: Jamiroquai
  • Best Newcomer: Shola Ama
  • Best Unsigned Act: Fola Sade
  • Best International Reggae Act: Beenie Man
  • Best Producer: Sean Puffy Combs
  • Best Radio DJ: David Rodigan
  • Best Club DJ: Metalheadz
  • Best Jazz Act: Sunship
  • Best Gospel Act: Beehive
  • Best International Single: Rosie Gaines "Closer Than Close"
  • Outstanding Achievement: Mick Hucknall
  • Lifetime Achievement: Bootsy Collins
  • 1998

    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.

  • Best Dance Act: Stardust
  • Best Reggae Act: Glamma Kid
  • Best Drum and Bass: 4 Hero
  • Best Hip Hop Act: Pheobe 1
  • Best Unsigned Act: Alison Brown
  • Best Newcomer: Lynden David Hall
  • Best R&B Act: Beverley Knight
  • Best International Reggae: Beenie Man
  • Contribution to Music: Carl Macintosh
  • Best Video: All Saints
  • Best International Act: Puff Daddy and the Family
  • Best International Single: Pras feat ODB / Mýa
  • Best Single: Another Level
  • Best Album: Adam F
  • Outstanding Achievement: Sean Combs
  • Lifetime Achievement: BB King
  • 1999

    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.

  • Best International R&B Act: Destiny's Child
  • Best Newcomer: Kele Le Roc
  • Best International Act: Lauryn Hill
  • Best International Hip Hop: Jay Z
  • Best Dance Act: Shanks & Bigfoot
  • Best Video: TLC
  • Best Album: Beverly Knight
  • Best DJ: Trevor Nelson
  • Best Single: Kele Le Roc
  • Best Unsigned Act: Amoyé
  • Best International Single: Eminem
  • Best Reggae Act: Mr Vegas
  • Contribution to Music: Erskine Thompson
  • Best R&B Act: Beverley Knight
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Tina Turner
  • 2003

    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.


    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.

  • Best Newcomer: Tinie Tempah
  • Best UK Hip-Hop/Grime Act: Professor Green
  • Best African Act: K'Naan
  • Best Video: Tinie Tempah ft. Labrinth – Frisky
  • Best Reggae Act: Gyptian
  • Best Jazz Act: Empirical
  • Best Gospel Act: Guvna B
  • Best UK R&B/Soul Act: Plan B
  • Best International Act: Eminem
  • Best UK Act: JLS
  • Best Song: N-Dubz ft Mr Hudson - Playing With Fire
  • Best Album: JLS
  • Lifetime Achievement: Billy Ocean
  • 2011

    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.

  • Best Gospel: Triple O
  • Best Jazz: Kairos Quartet
  • Best Reggae: Alborosie
  • Best African Act: Wizkid
  • Best Song: Jessie J
  • Best R&B/Soul: Adele
  • Best Album: Jessie J
  • Best Hip Hop/Grime: Tinie Tempah
  • Best Video: Tinchy Stryder ft. Dappy
  • Best Newcomer: Jessie J
  • Best International: Rihanna
  • 2012

    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:

  • Best Gospel: Rachel Kerr
  • Best Jazz: Zoe Rahman
  • Best Reggae: Sean Paul
  • Best African Act: D'Banj
  • Best Song: Labrinth
  • Best R&B/Soul: Emeli Sandé
  • Best Album: Emeli Sandé
  • Best Hip Hop/Grime: Plan B
  • Best Video: JLS
  • Best Female Act: Emeli Sandé
  • Best Male Act: Plan B
  • Best Newcomer: Rita Ora
  • Best International: Nicki Minaj
  • 2013

    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.

    The winners were:

  • Best Male Act: Wiley
  • Best Female Act: Laura Mvula
  • Best Song: Naughty Boy, "La La La"
  • Best Album: Rudimental, "Home"
  • Best Newcomer: Krept and Konan, ft. "Dizzy" Daniel Moorehead
  • Best R&B/Soul: Laura Mvula
  • Best UK Hip Hop/Grime: Tinie Tempah
  • Best Video: Naughty Boy, "La La La"
  • Best Gospel: Lurine Cato
  • Best Jazz: Sons of Kemet
  • Best Reggae: Sean Paul
  • Best African Act: Fuse ODG
  • Best International: Kendrick Lamar
  • 2014

    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.


  • Professor Green feat Tori Kelly- Lullaby
  • Jessie J feat Kid Ink- Bang Bang + Burnin' Up
  • Krept & Konan & The All Stars- Don't Waste My Time
  • Fekky & Meridan Dan- Still Sittin Here + German Whip
  • Candi Staton & Little Simz- You've Got The Love
  • Jeremih feat Krept & Konan- Don't Tell 'Em
  • Ella Eyre- Comeback
  • Nicole Scherzinger- On The Rocks
  • Gorgon City Feat. MNEK & Jess Glynne - Ready For Your Love + Right Here
  • The winners were:

  • Best African Act: Fuse ODG
  • Best Album: Sam Smith, "In the Lonely Hour"
  • Best Female Act: Jessie J
  • Best Gospel Act: Living Faith Connection Choir
  • Best Grime Act: Stormzy
  • Best Hip Hop Act: Krept and Konan
  • Best International Artist: Beyoncé
  • Best Jazz Act: Zara McFarlane
  • Best Male Act: Sam Smith
  • Best Newcomer: Ella Eyre
  • Best R&B/Soul Act: Sam Smith
  • Best Reggae Act: Stylo G
  • Best Song: Sam Smith, "Stay with Me"
  • Best Video: Skepta ft. JME, "That's Not Me"
  • 2015

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


  • Ella Eyre - Even If
  • Krept & Konan - Do It for the Gang, Certified + Freak of the Week
  • Lianne La Havas - Unstoppable
  • Naughty Boy - Running Lose It All
  • Rita Ora - Body on Me + Poison
  • Section Boyz - Trapping Ain't Dead
  • FKA twigs - Figure 8 + In Time
  • Fuse ODG - Million Pound Girl (Badder Than Bad) + Dangerous Love
  • Shakka - Say Nada
  • CeeLo Green - Music to My Soul, Crazy + Forget You
  • The winners were:

  • Best Hip Hop Act: Krept and Konan
  • Best Gospel Act: Faith Child
  • Best Grime Act: Stormzy
  • Best African Act: Fuse ODG
  • Best Newcomer: Section Boyz
  • Best Male Act: Stormzy
  • Best Song: Skepta, "Shutdown"
  • Best Female Act: Ella Eyre
  • Paving the Way Award: Lenny Henry
  • Best R&B/Soul Act: Shakka
  • Best Jazz Act: Binker and Moses
  • Best Video: FKA Twigs - "Pendulum"
  • Best Album: Krept and Konan, The Long Way Home
  • Best International Album: Drake, If You're Reading This It's Too Late
  • Outstanding Achievement: CeeLo Green
  • 2016

    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.”


  • Laura Mvula- Ready Or Not (Here I Come)
  • Lady Leshurr- Queen's Speech + Where Are You Now?
  • Craig David- Rewind + Fill Me In + 16 + When The Bassline Drops + Nothing Like This
  • Chase & Status ft Tom Grennan & Frisco- All Goes Wrong + Funny
  • WSTRN- In2
  • Clean Bandit ft Anne-Marie- Rockabye
  • Izzy Bizu- Mad Behaviour
  • Professor Green- One Eye On The Door
  • Popcaan ft Sneakbo- Only Man She Wants + Too Cool Fekky ft Section Boyz- Madting, Sadting

    The winners were:

  • Best Male Act – Craig David
  • Best Female Act – Lady Leshurr
  • Best Newcomer – WSTRN
  • Best Album – Kano: Made In The Manor
  • Best Hip Hop Act – Section Boyz
  • Best Song – Abra Cadabra ft. Krept & Konan: Robbery (remix)
  • Best Video – Nadia Rose: SKWOD
  • Best R&B/Soul – Shakka
  • Best Grime Act (In Association with BBC Radio 1Xtra): Chip
  • Best International Act: Drake
  • Best Jazz Act: Esperanza Spalding
  • Best Gospel Act: Guvna B
  • Best Reggae Act: Popcaan
  • Best African Act: Wiz Kid
  • Paving The Way: Nicola Adams MBE and Ms. Dynamite
  • Commercialization

    DJ and music journalist "Bigger" criticizes 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 criticizes the increasing American domination of the event and commercialisation, arguing that by its fourth year MOBO stood for "music of big organisations".


    MOBO Awards Wikipedia