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Tuesday 26 September 2017: The MOBO Awards is returning to Leeds for its 22nd annual celebration of the best in urban music. The prestigious awards show will take place on Wednesday 29 November at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
This will be the second time MOBO has hosted the awards in Leeds, following the show in 2015, which was the fastest selling arena, show in recent years. The evening was glittered with highlights fitting of the leading urban music awards show.
FKA twigs gave a tantalising, rare performance with her troupe of dancers, Rita Ora collaborated with hotly-tipped South London rap group Section Boyz bringing on stage the Best Newcomer winners to an audience of thousands, Lethal Bizzle opened the show in pure style arriving in a Lamborghini, Best Female Act winner Ella Eyre stopped everyone dead in their tracks with a mesmerising, stripped back performance of ‘Even If’, while international music star CeeLo Green closed the show with a medley of his greatest hits.
Elsewhere there were unforgettable moments like Sir Lenny Henry’s breathless Paving The Way award acceptance speech – which swiftly went viral – and also from Leeds’ very own sports champion Nicola Adams, Idris Elba and the night’s big winner, Stormzy.
With preparations for the live show spectacular under way, Kanya King, MOBO Founder and CEO, commented: “We are truly excited to return to Leeds – we had an amazing experience here two years ago thanks to all our partners and a very enthusiastic and welcoming audience. I still have people coming up to me saying what an electrifying show it was. Looking at the list of musical talent this year, it promises to be another exciting celebration of the best in urban music”.
The MOBO Organisation was founded in 1996 to champion and elevate urban music genres in the mainstream music industry. Since its inception MOBO has consistently offered opportunities and mass media platforms to countless artists in the broadest range of genres including R&B, Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz, Gospel, Garage, Reggae, Grime and African music. As such, MOBO has played an instrumental role in the careers of UK artists like Craig David, Tinie Tempah, Krept and Konan, Stormzy, Kano, Ms Dynamite, Estelle, Emeli Sandé and So Solid Crew to name a few, giving them their very first big platform on their journey to international success.
A long list of international artists have also been part of the annual MOBO Awards celebrations over the years including Lionel Richie, Janet Jackson, P Diddy, Destiny’s Child, 50 Cent, Dionne Warwick, Tina Turner, Jay Z, LL Cool J and Rihanna.
LeedsBID’s (Leeds Business Improvement District) Chief Executive, Andrew Cooper, said: “Following the success of 2015, LeedsBID is delighted to bring the MOBO Awards back to Leeds. This has been a demonstration of the powerful partnerships in Leeds, with businesses and public organisations coming together to amplify Leeds and its diverse cultural offer.”
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said: “We are delighted to welcome the MOBO Awards back to Leeds following a very successful event in 2015. It is hugely important that as we bid for European Capital Culture we find every opportunity to showcase the cultural diversity of the city on an international stage and MOBO Awards with its support for emerging artists and world wide reputation for championing music of black origin is a fantastic platform for this.”