Dave tops nominations at 2021 Mobo awards

Chart-topping rapper will compete in five categories, with Central Cee, Ghetts, Little Simz and AJ Tracey also in contention for prizes

Dave, the rapper who topped the charts this year with his emotionally rich second album We’re All Alone in This Together, leads the nominations at the 2021 Mobo awards, which acknowledge the best Black music in the UK, Africa, the Caribbean and beyond.

Dave is nominated for album, song and video of the year, plus best male act and best hip-hop act. Drill rapper Central Cee has four nominations, capping a breakthrough year in which he released two Top 10 hits, Commitment Issues and Obsessed With You.

Four artists score three nominations each: rappers Ghetts and Little Simz, soul singer Cleo Sol, and Arlo Parks, the singer-songwriter who won this year’s Mercury prize and the Brit award for breakthrough artist.

The UK’s rap scene is represented strongly elsewhere, with the best male act nominees all rappers – AJ Tracey, Central Cee, Ghetts, Headie One and Potter Payper join Dave – and Shaybo and rapper-singer Bree Runway appearing alongside Little Simz in the best female act category, alongside singers Sol, Parks and Tiana Major9.

For the first time there is a separate category celebrating drill rap alongside grime and hip-hop, in the year the genre scored its first UK No 1 single – the remix of Tion Wayne and Russ Millions’ Body, which is nominated for song of the year.

The event will also celebrate the best of African music, reggae, jazz, gospel and R&B/soul in distinct categories, plus actors, media personalities, producers and international acts. The ceremony will take place on Sunday 5 December.

Central Cee performing at 2021’s Wireless festival.
Central Cee performing at 2021’s Wireless festival. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

2021 Mobo nominations in full

Best male act

AJ Tracey
Central Cee
Headie One
Potter Payper

Best female act

Arlo Parks
Bree Runway
Cleo Sol
Little Simz
Tiana Major9

Album of the year

Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams
Celeste – Not Your Muse
Cleo Sol – Mother
Dave – We’re All Alone in This Together
Ghetts – Conflict of Interest
Headie One – Edna

Song of the year

A1 x J1 – Latest Trends
Central Cee – Commitment Issues
Dave – Clash (feat Stormzy)
Enny – Peng Black Girls (feat Amia Brave)
Pa Salieu – My Family (feat BackRoad Gee)
Tion Wayne & Russ Millions – Body (remix feat ArrDee, Bugzy Malone, Buni, Darkoo, E1, ZT & Fivio Foreign)

Best newcomer

Arlo Parks
BackRoad Gee
Central Cee
Joy Crookes
Midas the Jagaban
Wes Nelson

Video of the year

Bree Runway – Hot Hot
Fredo – Money Talks (feat Dave)
Little Simz – Woman (feat Cleo Sol)
M1llionz – Lagga
Pa Salieu – My Family (feat BackRoad Gee)
Slowthai – Mazza (feat A$AP Rocky)

Best R&B/soul act

Cleo Sol
Jorja Smith
Tiana Major9

Best grime act

Bugzy Malone
D Double E

Best hip-hop act

D-Block Europe
Little Simz
Potter Payper

Best drill act

Central Cee
Digga D
Headie One
K Trap
Russ Millions
Tion Wayne
Unknown T

Best international act

Doja Cat
Kanye West
Lil Nas X
Megan Thee Stallion
Polo G
Young Stoner Life (Young Thug & Gunna)

Best performance in a TV show/film

Ashley Thomas – Them
Damson Idris – Snowfall
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas & the Black Messiah
Letitia Wright – Small Axe
Micheal Ward – Small Axe

Best media personality

Charlene White
Chunkz & Yung Filly
Harry Pinero
Henrie Kwushue
Julie Adenuga
Maya Jama
Mo Gilligan
Munya Chawawa
Nella Rose
Zeze Millz

Best gospel act

CalledOut Music
Cece Winans
Guvna B
Kirk Franklin
Maverick City Music

Best African music act

Ayra Starr
Burna Boy
King Promise
Tiwa Savage

Best reggae act

Lila Ike
Sean Paul

Best jazz act

Alfa Mist
Blue Lab Beats
Emma-Jean Thackray
Jacob Collier
Nubiyan Twist
Sons of Kemet

Best producer



Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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