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Dave, Arlo Parks and Little Simz lead MOBO Awards nominees for 2021

The MOBOs will return in Coventry on December 5.

By Nick Reilly

Arlo Parks performs live
Arlo Parks live in London (Picture: Martyna Wisniewska)

The likes of Dave, Arlo Parks and Little Simz have all been announced among the nominees for this year’s MOBO Awards.

The awards were launched in 1996 to celebrate the best of Black music, and have been held across the UK in cities including London, Liverpool, Leeds and Glasgow. 

This year, the MOBO Awards will take place in Coventry, the UK’s City of Culture, on December 5.

Dave leads this year’s hopefuls with five nominees, having secured nods for Best Male Act, Best Hip Hop Act, Album of The Year for second album ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’, Song Of The Year for Clash’ featuring Stormzy, and Video Of The Year for his Fredo collaboration ‘Money Talks’.

He is closely followed by Little Simz, who has secured a trio of nominations for Best Female Act, Best Hip Hop Act, and Video of The Year for ‘Woman’.

Fresh off her Mercury Prize win in September, Arlo Parks rounds off a huge breakout year with nods for Best Newcomer, Best Female Act and Album of The Year for her acclaimed debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’.

Other nominees include London rapper Central Cee, Soul star Cleo Sol and Ghetts – who secured three nods for Best Male Act, Best Grime Act, and Album Of The Year with ‘Conflict of Interest’.

Last year’s virtual show was hosted by Maya Jama and Chunkz, with performances from Headie One, M Huncho, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Young T, H.E.R. and more. Mahalia won Best R&B/Soul and Best Female, and Best Song was awarded to Young T and Bugsey for ‘Don’t Rush’. 

Kanya King CBE, Founder and CEO of MOBO Group said: “The past 20 months have been extremely challenging for artists everywhere but as always we are seeing creatives rise up and adapt, even in a global pandemic. This year’s crop of MOBO nominees have not only shown resilience but incredible talent and range. We could not be prouder to celebrate their achievements across the 18 categories that span genres, as well as excellence in TV, film and media. Congratulations and best of luck to all of our nominees. Here’s to a big night on 5th December in Coventry!”

You can read all 18 categories and nominees in full below.

BEST MALE ACT
AJ TRACEY 
CENTRAL CEE 
DAVE
GHETTS
HEADIE ONE 
POTTER PAYPER

BEST FEMALE ACT
ARLO PARKS 
BREE RUNWAY 
CLEO SOL 
LITTLE SIMZ 
SHAYBO
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 FEAT. STORMZY – ‘CLASH’
ENNY FEAT. AMIA BRAVE – ‘PENG BLACK GIRLS’
PA SALIEU FEAT. BACKROAD GEE – ‘MY FAMILY’
TION WAYNE & RUSS MILLIONS, ARRDEE, BUGZY MALONE, BUNI, DARKOO, E1 (3X3), FIVIO FOREIGN & ZT (3X3) – ‘BODY (REMIX)’

BEST NEWCOMER
ARLO PARKS
ARRDEE
BACKROAD GEE
BERWYN
CENTRAL CEE
ENNY
JOY CROOKES
MIDAS THE JAGABAN
PINKPANTHERESS
WES NELSON

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
BREE RUNWAY – ‘HOT HOT’ (DIRECTED BY JOCELYN ANQUETIL)
FREDO FEAT. DAVE – ‘MONEY TALKS’ (DIRECTED BY EDEM WORNOO) 
LITTLE SIMZ FEAT. CLEO SOL – ‘WOMAN’ (DIRECTED BY LITTLE SIMZ) 
M1LLIONZ – ‘LAGGA’ (DIRECTED BY TEEEEZY C)
PA SALIEU FEAT. BACKROAD GEE – ‘MY FAMILY’ (DIRECTED BY FEMI LADI) 
SLOWTHAI FEAT. A$AP ROCKY – ‘MAZZA’ (DIRECTED BY THE REST)


BEST R&B/SOUL ACT
BELLAH
CLEO SOL
JORJA SMITH
SAULT
TIANA MAJOR9
WSTRN

BEST GRIME ACT
BUGZY MALONE
CHIP
D DOUBLE E
FRISCO
GHETTS
SKEPTA

BEST HIP HOP ACT
DAVE
D-BLOCK EUROPE
FREDO
LITTLE SIMZ
POTTER PAYPER
SLOW THAI

BEST DRILL ACT – IN ASSOCIATION WITH TRENCH
CENTRAL CEE
DIGGA D
HEADIE ONE
K TRAP
LOSKI
M1LLIONZ
RUSS MILLIONS
SR
TION WAYNE
UNKNOWN T

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT
DOJA CAT
DRAKE
KANYE WEST
LIL NAS X
MEGAN THEE STALLION
POLO G
REMA
SKILLIBENG
WIZKID
YOUNG STONER LIFE (YOUNG THUG & GUNNA)

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TV SHOW/FILM
ASHLEY THOMAS AS HENRY IN ‘THEM’
DAMSON IDRIS AS FRANKLIN SAINT IN ‘SNOWFALL’
DANIEL KALUUYA AS FRED HAMPTON IN ‘JUDAS & THE BLACK MESSIAH’
 LETITIA WRIGHT AS ALTHEIA JONES-LECOINTE IN ‘SMALL AXE’
MICHEAL WARD AS FRANKLYN IN ‘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 – IN ASSOCIATION WITH PREMIER GOSPEL 
CALLEDOUT MUSIC
CECE WINANS
GUVNA B
KIRK FRANKLIN 
MAVERICK CITY MUSIC 
S.O.

BEST AFRICAN MUSIC ACT
AYRA STARR 
BURNA BOY 
CKAY
DAVIDO
KING PROMISE 
NSG
REMA
TEMS
TIWA SAVAGE 
WIZKID

BEST REGGAE ACT
LILA IKE 
POPCAAN 
SEAN PAUL 
SHENSEEA 
SKILLIBENG 
SPICE

BEST JAZZ ACT – IN ASSOCIATION WITH BBC 6MUSIC
ALFA MIST
BLUE LAB BEATS 
EMMA-JEAN THACKRAY 
JACOB COLLIER 
NUBIYAN TWIST 
SONS OF KEMET

BEST PRODUCER – IN ASSOCIATION WITH COMPLEX UK
GOTCHA
JAE 5
JULS 
M1ONTHEBEAT 
P2J
TSB