London Hosts The MOBO Awards For 25th Anniversary

The MOBO Awards returned to London for the ceremony’s 25th anniversary. Celebrating Music of Black Origin (MOBO), the awards exhibit the UK’s finest in hip hop, R’n’B, Afrobeats, grime, reggae, and other genres of black music. Nominees were announced on 11th November ahead of the prestigious event.

Founded by Kanya King CBE in 1996, the awards were broadcast from the UK capital for 13 consecutive years. With nine ceremonies held outside of London since 2009, the awards’ return to London’s OVO Arena Wembley is a notable affair, more so following a hiatus from 2018-2019 and a pandemic-friendly virtual ceremony in 2020. 

The MOBO Awards are also known for showcasing up and coming talent. MOBO UnSung is an annual talent competition for unsigned emerging talent, while Mobolise is a digital platform encouraging organisations to address racial inequality in the creative sector. With the MOBO mission clear, it’s no surprise that the ceremony was presented by YouTube personalities and presenters Chunkz and Yung Filly, who have garnered social media popularity over the last few years.

The night included performances from Kojey RadicalSoniqueFloCraig DavidCat Burns and Beenie Man, a variety of UK and international talent past and present. DJ and radio host Remi Burgz interviewed the likes of Dreya MacTion WayneMahalia, boxer Anthony Joshua OBE, and US rapper Eve during the ceremony. Awards were presented by Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enningful OBE, Love Islander Indiyah Polack, journalist Louis Theroux, olympic champion Sir Mo Farah CBE, and model Leomie Anderson, demonstrating Black music’s widespread influence within the UK and beyond.

Despite being 25 years old, the MOBOs showed their ability to move with the times by adding two new award categories to the lineup: Best Alternative Music Act (Bob Vylan) and Best Electronic/Dance Act (Nia Archives). In total, 23 different awards were given out (see the full list below), including Video of the Year (Central Cee) and Best R&B/Soul Act (Mahalia). The Outstanding Contribution Award was awarded to Craig David MBE, and American song writer and producer Nile Rogers won the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Paving The Way prize was awarded in special tribute to the late Jamal Edwards MBE, music entrepreneur and founder of music platform SB.TV.

List of MOBO Award winners:

Best Female Act: PinkPantheress

Best Male Act: Central Cee

Album Of The Year (joint winners): Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert and Knucks – Alpha Pace

Song Of The Year: Dreya Mac, FelixThe1st and Finch Fetti – Own Brand (Baddie)

Best Newcomer: Bru-C

Video Of The Year: Central Cee – Doja

Best R&B/Soul Act: Mahalia

Best Grime Act: D Double E

Best Hip-Hop Act: D-Block Europe

Best Drill Act: K-Trap

Best International Act: Burna Boy

Best Performance In A TV Show/Film: Kaine Robinson (Kano) as Sully – Top Boy

Best Media Personality: Nella Rose

Best Alternative Music Act: Bob Vylan

Best Electronic/Dance Act: Nia Archives

Best African Music Act: Burna Boy

Best Gospel Act: Still Shadey

Best Jazz Act: Ezra Collective

Best Caribbean Music Act: Skillibeng

Best Producer: Inflo

Lifetime Achievement Award: Nile Rodgers

Outstanding Contribution Award: Craig David

Paving The Way Award: Jamal Edwards MBE

Safe to say the MOBO awards returned to London with a bang, paying homage to their past while looking towards their future. Stream the awards via YouTube:

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