Mobo awards crown Tinie Tempah as best newcomer

Grime MC honoured alongside JLS, Eminem, N-Dubz, Professor Green and Plan B at Mobo awards in Liverpool

In sequins and satin, sharp suits and high heels Liverpool helped the Mobo Awards celebrate its 15th anniversary in style last night.

London grime MC and rapper Tinie Tempah showed himself to be a worthy successor to the current king of UK urban Dizzee Rascal as he was named best newcomer, after a year that has seen him move seamlessly from the grittier edges of the underground scene to the mainstream.

The 21-year-old, whose real name is Patrick Okogwu, also took home the award for best video for Frisky featuring Labrinth, although he missed out on best song and best UK act.

Accepting the award, Tempah said he had been at the event last year as a spectator. "It's nice to be nominated and its nice to finally win something," he mumbled into the mic.

At the Echo Arena, Strictly Come Dancing's Alesha Dixon hosted the music of black origin awards alongside Radio 1 chart show presenter Reggie Yates.

Boyband JLS took home two awards for best UK act and best album.

Best song went to N-Dubz's Playing with Fire featuring Mr Hudson while best UK hip hop/grime act went to Hackney-born Professor Green, aka Stephen Paul Manderson.

East London continued to punch above its weight as Forest Gate's Ben Drew, better-known as Plan B, was awarded best Best UK R&B/Soul Act after seeing his critically lauded second album The Defamation of Strickland Banks go straight into the UK album chart at number one earlier this year.

Best international artist went to Eminem, whose seventh studio album Recovery stayed at number one on the US chart for five consecutive weeks, also achieving the top spot in the UK.

Before the awards, ticket holders streamed up to the gates of the Echo Arena. Michelle Dalrymple, a local government worker from the city was there with her eight-strong clan. "We're black, we're Scouse and we're proud," she said in glittering golden heels. "Liverpool has a brilliant up-and-coming music scene and this is a boost to urban music in the city."

The crowd continued their raucous form inside the arena, jumping, singing and screaming through performances from Tinchy Stryder, who was joined on stage by the evening's golden boy Tinie Tempah, as well as Professor Green, Devlin and American rapper Nelly.

Dixon also made a quick role change from presenter to performer, bounding around the stage in spiky shoulder pads and scorching pants. She was a brief reminder of the female dimension of the UK urban music scene, with each of the 14 awards throughout the evening given to men.

As the event came to a close, its founder Kanya King took a moment to bask in the adulation of both acts and audience. "If someone had told me 15 years ago that the Mobo awards would have grown to this scale I don't think I'd have believed them," she said. "But over those years we've had some of the biggest acts on our stage and we've championed young artists and watched them grow to international super stars … and of course we've partied like there was no tomorrow."

She wasn't above a little light gloating. "Now here we are 15 years later and urban music is the new pop music and I hate to say this, but we told you so."

Despite criticism about the event being held outside London for the first time last year, organisers this year decided to hold the event in Liverpool.

That is thanks, in no small part, to an 18-year-old from the Toxteth area of the city. Ben Osu and his friend Denise Janiece watched the event in Glasgow on television, and decided it would be the perfect means to boost the profile of urban music in a city better known for its rock bands.

They launched a Facebook campaign gaining over a 1000 members in a week, before "bombarding" King with reasons why the event should be held in Liverpool.

"Liverpool had the slave trade and even though a lot of people might not want to remember that, we wanted to celebrate that it is a diverse city," said Osu, speaking to the Guardian before the event. After witnessing an audience that very nearly outshone the performers, his final reason for bringing the awards to the city was difficult to argue with: "It's just Liverpool, isn't it? It's one of the best cities in the world."


Alexandra Topping

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Tinie Tempah leads nominations for Mobo awards 2010
Twenty-one-year-old rapper heads list of nominees for urban music awards including Dizzee Rascal, N-Dubz, Plan B and Professor Green

Sean Michaels

10, Sep, 2010 @10:34 AM

Article image
Mobo awards 2014: Sam Smith and Krept and Konan lead nominations
London artists vie for best male, best song and best album awards, as Professor Green admits rap has become ‘less cool’

Hannah Ellis-Petersen

23, Sep, 2014 @3:30 PM

Article image
Brit awards: Tinie Tempah shines with four nominations
The xx up for best album as awards overhauled to add 'jeopardy' and give votes to last year's contenders

Alexandra Topping

13, Jan, 2011 @7:01 PM

Article image
Tinie Tempah: specs to success
The rise of the British rapper's star is down to talent, looks and a sound that's cool and cheesy at the same time

Paul MacInnes

13, Jan, 2011 @7:00 PM

Article image
Jessie J named best UK act as she collects four awards at Mobos

Price Tag singer is big winner at 16th annual ceremony, with Adele, Tinie Tempah and Rihanna also honoured

Kieran Yates

05, Oct, 2011 @10:16 PM

Tinie Tempah | Pop review
Koko, London
This south London grime MC is on a mission to follow the Dizzee Rascal route to commercial success, writes Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

07, Apr, 2010 @10:30 PM

Tinie Tempah – review
Tinie Tempah's hip-hop affectations ring a bit hollow, but when the show sparks, it is undeniable, writes Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

01, Mar, 2011 @6:14 PM

Article image
Ivor Novello awards: Plan B and Everything Everything lead nominations
Songs by Kylie Minogue, Scouting for Girls, Foals and Tinie Tempah also in running for awards next month

Adam Gabbatt

19, Apr, 2011 @4:25 PM

Article image
What was 2010's pop music made of?

Your percentage by percentage guide to the year in pop

Priya Elan

30, Dec, 2010 @8:00 AM

Article image
Tinie Tempah puts modern heroes in portrait focus for BBC series
In six-parter on BBC One, the rapper matches people with extraordinary stories to celebrated artists

Nadia Khomami Arts and culture correspondent

24, Jan, 2022 @7:23 PM