2005 MOBO Awards

MOBO turned 10 at the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 22, as hosted by Gina Yashere and Akon with guest presenters including Chris Eubank, Lisa Maffia, Josie D’arby, Simon Webbe, Myleene Klass, Estelle, Tim Westwood, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Chuck D. The line-up of performers was stellar too, and included John Legend, Ms Dynamite, Lemar, Kano, Damian Marley, Public Enemy and Lauryn Hill.

Lemar’s second studio album 'Time To Grow' picked up a MOBO Award, beating stiff competition from Common, Kano, John Legend and Mariah Carey. The all-new Best African Act was voted for by people across Africa, and Youssou N’Dour emerged triumphant. A pioneer of Mbalax, an up-tempo blend of African, Caribbean and pop rhythms, he’d already enjoyed a smash hit in ‘Seven Seconds’, with Neneh Cherry, and toured alongside Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Tracy Chapman.

Sway took Best Hip-Hop after his two independent mixtapes had him on the tip of everyone’s tongues. 'This Is My Promo' Volumes 1 & 2 were sold on the street and after gigs, distributed to independent record stores nationwide - often personally, in a van. He spoke to The Guardian after winning, and said “I don't think I've ever been so surprised. I thought I might be hearing things. A lot of people must be wondering how I got nominated in the first place if I haven't even got an album out. What they don't know is that I've already released two albums on the street.”

Damian Marley performed ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ on the night and took away an award, while Public Enemy let with the Outstanding Contribution award. Best Video of 2005 was Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell Williams’ ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, a monochrome spectacular with a Neptunes beat, showing Snoop doing the Crip Walk. And Best Single of the year was Lethal B’s ‘Pow (Forward)’, a song so very definitive of its time. Kano won Best Newcomer, bigging up his fans and east London.

Listen to 2005's MOBO winners here, via Spotify:


The winners in full... 

Best Album: Lemar - Time To Grow 
Best African Act: Youssou N'Dour 
Best Hip Hop: Sway 
Best Reggae Act: Damien Marley 
Outstanding Contribution to Black Music Award: Public Enemy 
Best R&B Act: John Legend 
Best World Music: Daddy Yankee 
Best Video: Snoop Dogg feat Pharrell Williams - Drop It Like It's Hot 
Best Single: Lethal B - Pow (Forward) 
Best Newcomer: Kano 
UK Act of the Year: Lemar 
Best UK Radio DJ: Tim Westwood 
Best Jazz Act: Rhian Benson 
Best UK Club DJ: Steve Sutherland 
Icon Award: Bob Marley & The Wailers