The MOBO Awards (music of black origin) were first held in 1996 in Covent Garden to honour the heritage and influence of black music.

The awards concentrate on seven primary forms of contemporary urban music; R&B, Reggae, Dance, Drum & Bass, Jazz, Gospel, and Hip Hop.

The organisers of MOBO itself claim that the awards are designed to celebrate talent in these areas irrespective of race or colour.

Since 1998 the awards have been held at Londons Royal Albert Hall and attract the biggest names in black music including BB King, Puff Daddy, Tina Turner, Mel B, Craig David, Destiny's Child and the Fugees. The awards now attract a worldwide television audience of over 200 million viewers.

The nominees are decided by over 1,000 members of the MOBO academy (all from a music or media background) but the winners are chosen by the public by phone vote or over the MOBO internet site (

The awards have been dismissed as lacking in credibility by some pro-black groups who claim that the ceremony is not truly representative of the music within the black community and are used to gain mainstream acceptance for the most listener friendly of black artists.

On the whole however, the awards are seen as a celebration of contemporary music and as an acknowledgement of it's fundamental roots.

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