|The MOBO Awards|
The MOBO Awards are awards in "Music of Black Origin", established in 1996 by Kanya King and Andy Ruffell. It is held annually in the United Kingdom to recognise artists of any ethnicity or nationality performing black music.
The Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards was established in 1996 by Kanya King and Andy Ruffell to recognise and celebrate artists who create 'black' or 'urban' music. The MOBO Awards may be the most prestigious, but is not the first Black music awards show in Europe. 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. It is still an annual event in London.
The first MOBO award was presented to UK trio Baby D, in the Best Dance Act category. Among the 'Urban' Scene, The MOBO Awards have been seen as a UK equivalent to the BET Awards & Soul Train Awards for being the main award show in Britain to focus on Urban music.
The MOBO Awards show has previously taken place in Wembley Arena, The O2 Arena, Royal Albert Hall, London Arena, New Connaught Rooms and Alexandra Palace – all of which are in London. For the first time, the 2009 Awards were held outside of London, in the city of Glasgow. In 2010, the Awards were held in Liverpool, at the Echo Arena.
Over its history, the MOBO awards 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, 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.
The Independent newspaper columnist David Lister criticizes the MOBO award, writing: "I find any notion of separate awards devised for black musicians, and still largely for black musicians, depressing". He went on to say that such awards "limit the music and the performers they claim to honour" and "manage to be both ludicrous and dangerously divisive at the same time." Others reject this criticism, calling it "pedant", and noting that MOBO simply focuses on genres just as other awards focus on other genres.
Critic Niall Crowley highlights the inherent inaccuracies in the term "black music", for example noting the significant Jewish influences on rhythm and blues and rock n roll. He states "Without these and many other non-African Americans who played a defining role in the evolution of rhythm and blues, we wouldn’t have much of the great ‘black’ music we’ve had over the past 50 years or so." Crowly also juxtaposes the attitudes of the MOBOs with the huge success of black performers in recent decades, writing that the awards reinforce "the idea that today’s black performers are simply the latest generation of sufferers in a long history of victimhood." He argues that in reality "no one could possibly claim that recent generations of black performers have suffered at the hands of a racist music industry" and the MOBOs "encourage music fans to see discrimination and racism where there is none,
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 particuar 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".
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 award were held at The Royal Albert Hall and hosted by Mel B and Bill Bellamy. 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 Awards were held at The Royal Albert Hall and were sponsored by Malibu. The awards were 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 Ritchie, Lulu, Victoria Beckham, Chris Eubank, Another Level, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Destiny's Child, and girl band Eternal.
In 2003, the MOBO awards moved to the The Royal Albert Hall and were 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 ceremony took place on 30 September 2004 at The Royal Albert Hall and was broadcast by BBC Television. 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 MOBO awards saw one of the biggest line ups in MOBO award history and 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 were 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 went on to win 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 event took place on 30 September at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow, the first time the awards took place outside of 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, with Peter Andre presenting backstage.
The awards took place on 20 October 2010 in Liverpool.
The awards returned to Glasgow's SECC on 5 October 2011, hosted by Jason Derülo and Alesha Dixon. Jessie J won 4 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 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 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
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 & Konan
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
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- Lister, David (4 October 2008). "The Mobos are past their sell-by date". The Independent (London).
- Horan, Tom (25 September 2003). "MUSIC: How Ms MOBO proved them wrong". Daily Telegraph (London).
- Message to MOBOs: ditch the victim act | Niall Crowley | spiked
- "Are the Mobos good for black music?". BBC News. 20 September 2006.
- "Mobo Awards founder Kanya King: How I defied teacher who told me to work in a supermarket". The Daily Record And Sunday Mail.
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