Little Simz, Ghetts and Dave have won the top prizes at the 2021 Mobo awards, which recognise the best in Black music from the UK and beyond.
Grime veteran Ghetts won his first Mobo – more than 15 years into his career – for best male act. His album Conflict of Interest has been acclaimed as one of the year’s best rap albums.
He lost out in the album category, however, to Dave, who was given the award for his second album, We’re All Alone in This Together. Little Simz was awarded best female act – also her first Mobo win.
The drill MC Central Cee won two awards, for best newcomer and the inaugural best drill act award, after he had two of the biggest hits yet in the genre: Obsessed With You and Commitment Issues both charted in the Top 10. Drill was also recognised in the song of the year category – which was won by the energetic remix of Tion Wayne and Russ Millions’ track Body, the first drill track to reach the UK No 1 – and for video of the year, for Lagga by M1llionz (directed by Teeeezy C).
Nigerian pop star Wizkid also won two awards, for best African act and best international act.
The ceremony returned as a live show, at Coventry Building Society Arena, the first time since 2017. There were no awards in 2018 and 2019 and only a virtual ceremony in 2020. Hosted by Munya Chawawa and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, it featured live performances by Ghetts, Pa Salieu, Stefflon Don and Ms Banks, Bree Runway, Potter Payper, Tems, NSG and Enny.
Mobo winners 2021
Album of the year: Dave – We’re All Alone in This Together
Best female act: Little Simz
Best male act: Ghetts
Best newcomer: Central Cee
Song of the year: Tion Wayne & Russ Millions – Body (remix feat ArrDee, Bugzy Malone, Buni, Darkoo, E1, Fivio Foreign & ZT)
Video of the year: M1llionz – Lagga (directed by Teeeezy C)
Best grime act: Skepta
Best R&B/soul act: Cleo Sol
Best hip-hop act: D Block Europe
Best drill act: Central Cee
Best international act: Wizkid
Best performance in a TV show/film: Michael Ward – Franklyn in Small Axe
Best media personality: Chunkz & Yung Filly
Best gospel act: Guvna B
Best African music act: Wizkid
Best reggae act: Shenseea
Best jazz act: Sons of Kemet
Best producer: Jae5