Critically-lauded American R&B artist H.E.R. and globally-renowned Afrobeats star Davido are among the latest, hot new talents confirmed to perform at next week’s 2020 MOBO Awards, which has already enlisted Headie One feat. M Huncho, Ms Banks, Tiwa Savage, and Kojey Radical.
Joining H.E.R. and Davido on the line-up are Stylo G, Britain’s fastest-rising dancehall star, and emerging homegrown talents Loski, Tiana Major9 and Shaybo.
Do not miss the return of the MOBO Awards on 9 December, live-streamed 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.
The 90-minute awards ceremony, hosted by broadcaster Maya Jama and YouTube creator and comedian Chunkz, will honour the very best of Black culture across music and entertainment – with some very special surprises in store!
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.
Amassing 12 Grammy nominations and two wins in just three years, H.E.R. has proven herself as an R&B force to be reckoned with. The enigmatic singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has racked up over two billion combined streams of her breakthrough projects H.E.R., I Used To Know Her, and more recent songs ‘Could’ve Been’ (feat. Bryson Tiller), ‘Slide’, and ‘Sometimes’.
This year’s MOBO Awards stage will feature two stellar performances from Afrobeats royalty, Tiwa Savage and Davido, the latter set to make a grand return after performing at the 2017 ceremony in Leeds. Since winning Best African Act at the 2017 MOBO Awards, the Nigerian music star has expanded his global domination, becoming the first solo African artist to sell out London’s O2 Arena and creating mass hysteria across America with his 2018 hit ‘Fall’, which became the longest running Afrobeats single on the Billboard charts. This year has seen Davido drop A Better Time – his second album in just under 12 months – a joyous soundtrack looking ahead to a brighter future.
Jamaican-born Stylo G is Britain’s fastest-rising dancehall star. Having spent half his life first in the Caribbean and for the last 20 years in the UK, his music is the perfect blend of his dual national identity – which sees him move with ease from the reggae charts through to Grime and rap collaborations with the likes of Wretch 32, Chip, and Giggs.
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 Sandé to Krept & Konan, some of Britain’s brightest stars have cited the Awards as their inspiration.
Proud to continue its legacy of being the first to spotlight fresh talent in the UK and put them on the global stage, the Awards is excited to feature special performances by rising homegrown artists like drill MC Loski, soul-jazz fusion singer Tiana Major9, and rap’s new ‘Queen of the South’ Shaybo.
South London rapper Loski has clocked up over 68 million YouTube views, and his newest album Music, Trial & Trauma: A Drill Story is a coming of age story, showcasing the 20-year old’s immense skill for delivering effortless flow, as well poise and maturity while addressing hardships from his past. The album also flexes with superstar collaborators such as Stormzy, Emeli Sandé and Davido, which will undoubtedly catapult Loski to a bigger audience.
Earmarked by The Guardian earlier this year as ‘one to watch’, soul-jazz singer Tiana Major9 is certainly coming into her own this year. The East London talent was nurtured through MOBO’s emerging talent program, UnSung, where in 2014 she entered the talent competition and won an opportunity to perform on MOBO’s showcase tour, supported by The Arts Council England and PRS for Music Foundation. Fast-forward to today, the 24-year old is signed to Motown, nominated for a Grammy, and is gaining critical nods for her thoughtful blend of soul, jazz and reggae – reminiscent of Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse. She was also featured on the Queen & Slim soundtrack last year and Stormzy’s Heavy Is The Head album.
Nigerian-born and South London-bred Shaybo is an unapologetic force in rap, known for her signature Yoruba wit and sharp honesty. Dubbed ‘Queen of The South’, she has been honing her skills since she was 13 when she started uploading freestyles on Youtube. These days, the likes of Anthony Joshua, Jorja Smith and Winnie Harlow are part of the fandom, sharing her music on Instagram.
The show-stopping event will also feature music performances from Tottenham-born rap star Headie One, hailed ‘The King of Drill’ following the chart-topping success of his debut album Edna this year. He will be joined on stage 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. Plus, Kojey Radical, one of the stars pushing the envelope of British rap with his richly textured sound.
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 (in association with ISAWITFIRST) AND BEST R&B/SOUL ACT
AITCH, PA SALIEU, DUTCHAVELLI AND IVORIAN DOLL SCORE BEST NEWCOMER NOMINATIONS (in association with Arts Council England)
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, 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 (in association with ISAWITFIRST) 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 (in association with Afrozons) 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 are public voted, alongside a few other music categories such as Song of The Year, Best Grime Act, Best Newcomer (in association with Arts Council England), Best African Act (in association with Afrozons) and Best International Act. 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’
(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 SULLY – ‘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