The MOBO Awards are back – back in a year like no other, with a show like no other. The UK’s biggest celebration of Black music and culture will take place on 9 December, live-streamed for the very first time on YouTube at 7.00PM GMT (watch here), and broadcast on BBC One at 10.45PM GMT with a highlights special available on BBC iPlayer the same night and supporting content in BBC Sounds.
BBC Radio 1Xtra will also be covering the awards starting on Sunday 6 December (9-10pm) with a special 1Xtra Talks show hosted by Richie Brave which will look back at the last 24 years of MOBO history and look at how music has changed and evolved over the last two decades. Then, on Wednesday 9 December (7-9pm), DJ Target will dedicate his show to the MOBO Awards 2020 which will include special performances and interviews with some of this year’s nominees.
The 90-minute awards ceremony will honour the very best of Black culture across music and entertainment. As always, the Awards will be a fun and dynamic event full of special surprises. However, this year, a strong vein of cultural purpose and social commentary will weave through the ceremony as we articulate a vision of the world as it is, but also as we want it to be.
This is a year in which so many voices have been raised higher than ever – in protest, in mourning, but also in celebration of the incredible contributions that black culture has made all around the world. MOBO continues to believe in the power of the culture to bring people together.
For over two decades, the globally renowned MOBO Awards has been the platform where so many of today’s biggest names in music began their career. From Stormzy, to Beverley Knight, Emeli Sande to Krept & Konan, some of Britain’s brightest stars have cited the Awards as their inspiration.
This year’s ceremony will be hosted by broadcaster Maya Jama – who made history in 2017 as the youngest person to ever host the MOBO Awards – and YouTube creator, music artist and comedian Chunkz.
The show-stopping event will feature music performances from the hottest UK and international artists of today including Tottenham-born rap star Headie One, dubbed ‘The King of Drill’ following the chart-topping success of his debut album Edna this year. He will be performing with trap-wave master M Huncho. South London MC, Ms Banks is sure to bring big ‘boss chick’ energy to the show with her unapologetic lyrics and attitude.
Tiwa Savage, ‘the Queen of Afrobeats’, will make her debut on the MOBO Awards stage with what is sure to be a sizzling performance. The Nigerian superstar has been pivotal in elevating Afrobeats to become one of the world’s most celebrated genres in recent years. Earlier this year she returned with her fourth studio album Celia, featuring the rhythmic gems ‘Attention’, ‘Koroba’ and ‘Dangerous Love’.
One of the stars pushing the envelope of British rap with his richly textured sound is Kojey Radical. The East London-born artist will also be performing at this year’s ceremony, sure to bring forth an emotionally potent and thought-provoking showcase. Even more exciting performers to be announced!
MOBO Founder, Kanya King, said: “Recognising the unique role the MOBO Awards plays for so many, and the challenging year we find ourselves in, it is now more important than ever to be there and to continue the rich history of showcasing the very best of Black music and culture. We are proud to partner with YouTube and the BBC to bring this year’s celebration to millions of music fans, and continue to uplift creative voices here in the UK and around the world. A special thanks to Arts Council England, ISAW IT First and Accenture for supporting us on this journey – we see you!”
YouTube Music’s Director of EMEA, Dan Chalmers said: “It’s a real privilege to be partnering with The MOBO Awards to bring a global audience to such an important British music event. It’s vital that artists and creators from across all backgrounds, genres and sounds are given a platform to build an audience and fanbase. I’m honoured to continue to lift up and support the Black British music community, which continues to be at the heart of the music experience in the UK. I look forward to watching the nominees and winners on this special night and supporting them on their journey forwards.”
Kate Phillips, Acting Controller BBC One said: “It’s fantastic to be partnering with the MOBO Awards this year and showcasing the UK’s biggest celebration of Black music and culture on BBC One and iPlayer.”
MOBO AWARDS 2020 NOMINEES
NINES, LIANNE LA HAVAS AND MAHALIA LEAD 2020 NOMINATIONS
RAP TITAN NINES LEADS THE PACK WITH 5 NOMINATIONS
– INCLUDING BEST MALE ACT, ALBUM OF THE YEAR AND VIDEO OF THE YEAR
LIANNE LA HAVAS, MAHALIA AND TIANA MAJOR9 PICK UP 3 NOMINATIONS EACH
– INCLUDING BEST FEMALE ACT AND BEST R&B/SOUL ACT
AITCH, PA SALIEU, DUTCHAVELLI AND IVORIAN DOLL SCORE BEST NEWCOMER NOMINATIONS
MO GILLIGAN, MUNYA CHAWAWA, CLARA AMFO SCORE BEST MEDIA PERSONALITY NOMINATIONS
Reigning Hip Hop king Nines leads the 2020 MOBO Awards nominations. The 30-year-old North West London MC has picked up a staggering five nominations: Best Male Act, Best Hip Hop Act, Album of The Year for the critically-acclaimed Crabs In A Bucket, Video of The Year for ‘Clout’ and Best Album (2017-2019) for 2018’s Crop Circle.
While Grime has captured the mainstream’s attention for the past few years, MOBO continues to have their ear to the ground by recognising the cultural buzz and influence sub-genres like Drill, Afro-swing and Alternative UK Hip Hop is starting to amass with the likes of Headie One, J-Hus, Dutchavelli, Kojey Radical, NSG and D-Block Europe securing nominations.
Soulful songstresses Lianne La Havas, Mahalia and Tiana Major9 amass three nominations each including Best Female Act and Best R&B/Soul Act. Elsewhere, the renaissance of women in rap makes indelible impact on this year’s nominations as rising stars Ms Banks, Ivorian Doll, Shaybo and Bree Runway are all first-time nominees.
2020 has been a momentous year for artists from the motherland, with the scene at large undeniably being in the midst of its golden age. Ever supportive of the Black diaspora at large, this year’s Best African Act category is the most jam-packed it has ever been with veteran mainstays artists like Burna Boy, Davido, Adekunle Gold and Tiwa Savage racking up nominations alongside newer acts who have recently crossed over international waters like Rema, Fireboy DML and Stonebwoy.
New categories added this year include, Best Music Producer, as well as arts categories Best Performance in a TV Show / Film and Best Media Personality – the latter two will be public voted, alongside a few other music categories such as Song of The Year, Best Grime Act, Best Newcomer, Best African Act, and Best International Act – visit https://voting.mobo.com/. The independent MOBO Awards judging panel of music connoisseurs will determine the nominees and winners for the majority of categories.
BEST MALE ACT
YOUNG T & BUGSEY
BEST FEMALE ACT (IN ASSOCIATION WITH ISAWITFIRST)
LIANNE LA HAVAS
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
J HUS – ‘BIG CONSPIRACY’
STORMZY – ‘HEAVY IS THE HEAD’
MAHALIA – ‘LOVE AND COMPROMISE’
NINES – ‘CRABS IN A BUCKET’
LIANNE LA HAVAS – ‘LIANNE LA HAVAS’
SONG OF THE YEAR [PUBLIC VOTED]
YOUNG T & BUGSEY FEAT. HEADIE ONE – ‘DON’T RUSH’
DIGGA D – ‘WOI’
DARKOO FEAT. ONE ACEN – ‘GANGSTA’
TION WAYNE FEAT. STORMZY & DUTCHAVELLI – ‘I DUNNO’
ABRA CADABRA – ‘ON DECK’
BEST NEWCOMER (IN ASSOCIATION WITH ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND)
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
BREE RUNWAY – ‘APESHIT’ (DIRECTED BY WILL HOOPER)
NINES – ‘CLOUT’ (DIRECTED BY CHARLIE DI PLACIDO)
NSG – ‘LUPITA’ (DIRECTED BY KEVIN HUDSON)
JORJA SMITH – ‘BY ANY MEANS’ (DIRECTED BY OTIS DOMINIQUE)
KNUCKS – ‘HOME’ (DIRECTED BY RAY FIASCO)
KOJEY RADICAL – ‘20/20’ (DIRECTED BY CHARLIE DI PLACIDO)
BEST R&B/SOUL ACT
LIANNE LA HAVAS
BEST HIP HOP ACT
KREPT & KONAN
BEST GRIME ACT [PUBLIC VOTED]
MANGA SAINT HILARE
BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT [PUBLIC VOTED]
MEGAN THEE STALLION
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TV SHOW/FILM [PUBLIC VOTED]
KANE ROBINSON AS SCULLY – ‘TOP BOY’
MICHAELA COEL AS ARABELLA – ‘I MAY DESTROY YOU’
NCUTI GATWA AS ERIC EFFIONG – ‘SEX EDUCATION’
JESSICA PLUMMER AS CHANTELLE – ‘EASTENDERS’
MICHEAL WARD AS MARCO – ‘BLUE STORY’
DAMSON IDRIS AS FRANKLIN SAINT – ‘SNOWFALL’
BEST MEDIA PERSONALITY [PUBLIC VOTED]
BEST ALBUM (2017 – 2019)
This is a one-off additional category just for this year’s MOBO Awards to highlight the best albums released from 1st September 2017 – 31st August 2019.
DAVE – ‘PSYCHODRAMA’
KANO – ‘HOODIES ALL SUMMER’
ELLA MAI – ‘ELLA MAI’
SKEPTA – ‘IGNORANCE IS BLISS’
NINES – ‘CROP CIRCLE’
LITTLE SIMZ – ‘GREY AREA’
BEST AFRICAN ACT (IN ASSOCIATION WITH AFROZONS)
BEST REGGAE ACT
BEST GOSPEL ACT (IN ASSOCIATION WITH PREMIER GOSPEL)
THE KINGDOM CHOIR
BEST JAZZ ACT
TOM MISCH & YUSSEF DAYES
EGO ELLA MAY