It was a very British affair at this year’s MOBO Awards, held at the Leeds Arena on November 4.
The awards ceremony, which celebrates Music of Black Origin (MOBO), as the name suggests, took a surprising turn with hip hop and grime taking centre stage.
UK artists and more specifically London-based singers and rappers took home a majority of the top spots, with Krept and Konan winning Best Hip Hop Act and Best Album for The Long Way Home. South London group Section Boyz took home the gong for Best Newcomer and Londoner Ella Eyre was crowned Best Female Act.
And it didn’t end there. North London-born Skepta’s song Shutdown was crowned Best Song, whilst Croydon rapper Stormzy won the Best Male Act and Best Grime Act awards.
The awards have been criticised in the past for crowning a limited number of black artists, so this year’s results have been well received both in the UK and across the pond in the US, where a large number of urban artists reside.
On accepting her award, Ella said: “I am so embarrassed. Thanks so much to the Mobos for supporting me from such a young age. I want to thank my Mum, management and everyone who voted.”
Ella was crowned Best Newcomer in 2014, so it is testament to her talent that she has topped the leader board again this year. This time, Ella presented the award for Best Newcomer alongside CeeLo Green.
MOBO performance – Ella Eyre
Singing Even If, Ella was calm and collected, bringing emotion to her performance which ended with resounding cheers from the Leeds Arena.
Performing on the night were Rita Ora who put in a sterling effort with her rendition of Body on Me, and FKA Twigs, who also took home an award for Best Video for Pendulum, performed a raunchy set of In Time and Figure 8. The experimental R&B singer, who is known for her individual style and unique sound, was particularly pleased with this award as she produced the video.
Twigs told BBC Newsbeat : “I don’t think anyone has any idea about how much I put into what I do from storyboards to working with my stylists, to writing the songs and to being involved in the production.
“It’s my world and when someone says ‘well done’ for it, it just feels like it’s all worth it.”
Pendulum – FKA Twigs
Lenny Henry received the Paving the Way gong for his special contribution to black artistry and his speech was crowned ‘epic’ by viewers. With an extensive list of thanks including some of the greats in black music history such as Bob Marley and Michael Jackson, he received almost a full standing ovation.
Winners list in full
- Best Hip Hop act: Krept and Konan
- Best Newcomer: Section Boyz
- Best African act: Fuse ODG
- Best Female act: Ella Eyre
- Best Male act: Stormzy
- Best Song: Skepta – Shutdown
- Best Grime act: Stormzy
- Best Album: Krept and Konan – The Long Way Home
- Best Video: FKA twigs – Pendulum
- Best Reggae act: Popcaan
- Best Jazz: Binker and Moses
- Best R&B/soul act: Shakka
- Best Gospel act: Faith Child
- Best International Album: Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
- Mobo outstanding achievement award: CeeLo Green
- Paving the Way: Wiley
- Paving the Way: Sir Lenny Henry
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