Timeline: MOBO Awards

“I Remember Seeing the MOBO Awards on T.V and Thinking ‘Wow, What Would It Be Like to Win One of Those?'”

– Tinie Tempah

(Live performance of ‘Game Over’ featuring Tinie Tempah, Professor Green, Devlin and Giggs.)

The MOBO (standing for Music of Black Origin) awards were held last week, which prompted me to write this brief timeline of the events history. The MOBOs are an annual occasion in which artists who produce or perform music categorised within the ‘Black Music’ genre are credited with category specific awards such as: best newcomer, best video or best song. In this timeline I am going to cover everything you need to know about the history of the awards.

1996: The MOBO awards are launched by Kanya King and Andy Ruffell. The first award goes to UK dance Trio ‘Baby D’ in the ‘Best Dance’ category.

1998: Beverley Knight performs at the MOBO awards then hits sales highs. The same happens in 1999 with Destiny’s Child and 2000 with the Baha Men both of whom also have chart success.

2000: The MOBO awards sign sponsorship deal with Mastercard.

2001: Awards are hosted by Kellis and Trevor Nelson at the London Arena. Luther Vandross wins the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award and R. Kelly wins the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award.

2002: Awards are hosted by Alesha Dixon and L. L. Cool J. Ms. Dynamite wins 3 awards and Lisa Lopez (link to foundation website) wins a post-humous ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award.

2003: The awards were held in the Royal Albert Hall, where they would stay for the next 3 years. Lisa Maffia was the only UK female artist to win an award.

2004: Controversy surrounded the removal of reggae artists Vybz Kartel and Elephant Man from the ‘Best Reggae Act’ category  due to their homophobia and incitement to murder.

2005: One of the biggest line ups in the events history featuring more than six world-class artists performance performing on the night. Bob Marley wins a posthumous ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award.

2006: The ‘World Music’ and ‘Jazz’ categories are suspended and Beyonce wins three awards but does not attend the ceremony.

2007: The awards are held in the O2 arena in London and the jazz category returns. Among a star-studded lineup of guest presenters, Quentin Tarintino presents the award for ‘Best Song’.

2008: The founder of Run DMC (Rev-Run) co-hosts the award with ex-spicegirl Mel B. Uk RnB act Estelle takes home two awards including ‘Best Single’ and ‘UK Female’.

2009: The awards were held in Scotland for the first time in the events history, with the ceremony featuring a tribute to to the late Michael Jackson.

2010: The events are hosted in Liverpool with the lifetime achievement award going to Billy Ocean.


Matt :)


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