- Music of Black Origin Awards
The MOBO Awards Country United Kingdom First awarded 1995 Official website MOBO.com
The Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards, established in 1995 by Kanya King MBE and Andy Ruffell, are held annually in the United Kingdom to recognise artists of any ethnicity or nationality performing black music.
In 2009, the awards were held in the city of Glasgow in Scotland for the first time. Until then, it had been held in London every year since its launch in 1995. In 2011, the MOBO Awards returned to Scotland for a second time.
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 is the first Black awards show in Europe.
The first award was presented to UK trio Baby D, in the Best Dance Act category.
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, England. For the first time in MOBO history, the 2009 Awards were held outside of London, in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. The following year, 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, A-list 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, Jessie J .
In 2000 Sade came out of retirement especially to perform at the Awards, her first performance in almost a decade.
Critics of the MOBO Awards suggest they are racist for linking musical genres to skin colour and accuse the organisers of Ghettoisation. Writing in The Independent newspaper David Lister states "I find any notion of separate awards devised for black musicians, and still largely for black musicians, depressing". He goes on to say they "limit the music and the performers they claim to honour" and "manage to be both ludicrous and dangerously divisive at the same time"
Victimhood and terminology
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". He also critcises the increasing American domination of the event and commercialisation, arguing that by it's fourth year MOBO stood for "music of big organisations".
In 2003, the MOBO awards moved to their new home, the Royal Albert Hall and was hosted by Blu Cantrell and Lil’ Kim, with performances coming from DMX, Lumidee, Wayne Wonder, George Benson, Lemar, Seal, Mis-teeq and Redman, J’Nay, 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 annual MOBO Awards ceremony took place on 30 September 2004 at the Royal Albert Hall in London 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, 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. This year, for the first time the World Music and Jazz category were suspended. Corinne Bailey Rae went on to win the prize for Best UK Newcomer. The 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 in 2007. Shaggy opened the evening with a medley of hits including "It Wasn't Me", "Bombastic" and "Angel". The show also featured several other performances; T-Pain performed on stage with Yung Joc, Craig David and Kano collaborated on stage, and rising stars Ne-Yo, Mutya Buena and Robin Thicke also performed. Amy Winehouse performed two songs and accepted the award for Best UK Female. England cricketer Monty Panesar and England footballer Micah Richards were among a star-studded 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, Scotland. This was 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.
On 7 June 2010, Leona Lewis joined MOBO Awards founder Kanya King to announce that Liverpool had been selected as the host city for the 15th MOBO Awards in 2010. The 2010 awards took place on 20 October 2010.
It was confirmed that Amy Winehouse will be given an award and a special tribute will be shown due to the singer's death in July 2011.
The awards returned to Glasgow's SECC on 5 October 2011, hosted by Jason Derülo and Alesha Dixon. Jessie J won 4 awards. Boyz II Men received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Other winners included Rihanna, Tinie Tempah, Adele and Alborosie.
- ^ Why the CRE''s advertising has an incorrect attitude: the Commission for Racial Equality is trying to support ethnic minorities and wipe out racism. It can''t reasonab...
- ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/global/article6116096.ece
- ^ David Lister: The Mobos are past their sell-by date - David Lister, Columnists - The Independent
- ^ Message to MOBOs: ditch the victim act | Niall Crowley | spiked
- ^ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Are the Mobos good for black music?
- ^ "Growing up Gay in Jamaica". BBC News. 15 September 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/3653140.stm. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- ^ Jade Wright (8 June 2010). "Mobo Awards to be held at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, announces Leona Lewis". Liverpool Daily Post. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2010/06/08/mobo-awards-to-be-held-at-liverpool-s-echo-arena-announces-leona-lewis-92534-26607484/. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- ^ "Liverpool to host Mobo awards after Facebook campaign". BBC News. 7 June 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10258565. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- ^ "MOBO Lands In Liverpool!". MOBO. 19 October 2010. http://www.mobo.com/news-blogs/mobo-lands-in-liverpool. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
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