Stars ready to go MOBO for a hit prize
URBAN music is flourishing. The charts are full of it, fans are lapping it up and more and more wannabes are aspiring to make their mark on the scene.It covers a vast genre of music types, is the subject of a split-off industry dedicated to it and accounts for nearly half of all UK singles sold.
By Jo Macdonald
URBAN music is flourishing. The charts are full of it, fans are lapping it up and more and more wannabes are aspiring to make their mark on the scene.
It covers a vast genre of music types, is the subject of a split-off industry dedicated to it and accounts for nearly half of all UK singles sold.
Therefore it follows that an awards ceremony in honour of mobo music is more than justified.
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Since it was first held in 1996, the glittering MOBO Awards ceremony has grown into one of the prestigious dates on the music industry calendar and a MOBO award is as much sought after – if not more so – than a BRIT.
And the willingness to perform at the event itself is as equally desired, and history has shown that an appearance at the MOBOs can increase record sales and heighten media interest. For example, Destiny's Child, Beverley Knight and the Baha Men all topped the charts after appearances at the ceremony.
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The star-studded bill at this year's event, which takes place at London Arena on Tuesday, is as impressive as previous years.
Craig David will be back on UK soil to give his first TV performance for many months. Ms Dynamite, who has notched up six nominations this year, will also perform.
US rap star Ja Rule will be joined by newly crowned Princess of RnB Ashanti.
Other performers at this year's event, hosted by Mis-Teeq's Alesha and US rap legend LL Cool J, include Jimmy Cliff, Sugababes and Sean Paul.
As far as the nominees at next week's awards are concerned, it seems the females are leading the way.
Fresh from her recent Mercury Music Prize win, Ms Dynamite heads the list with six nominations and is unlikely to come away empty handed.
The 21-year-old star, whose real name is Naomi McLean-Daley, burst onto the music scene earlier this year with the hit It Takes More and success has followed her at every step since.
Following hot on her heels in the nomination stakes is US RnB/soul star Alicia Keys. She spent a long time going from one girl group to another before she decided to go solo, a decision that won her a record deal with Arista's J Records in 1998. Three years later, and barely 20 years old, she has an acclaimed album of which to be proud.
Completing the feminine domination of this year's MOBO awards is Ashanti who gets three nods as a solo artist and two for collaborations, one with Ja Rule and one with Fat Joe.
But the men are doing their bit too. The Streets, the bookies' favourite to have picked up the Mercury Music Prize, receive two nominations, as does Daniel Bedingfield. Ja Rule is recognised with three nominations.
Others on the list include Nelly, Usher, Tweet, Sugababes and Beverley Knight.
The competition is still open with the public continuing to vote in a number of categories. The awards are by no means a foregone conclusion.
One thing is for sure, however, come Tuesday, all nominees will want to go home with a prestigious MOBO in hand – only a few will.
n The MOBO Awards ceremony takes place at London Arena on Tuesday. The event will be broadcast on Channel 4 on October 3.