Leeds & West Yorkshire

MOBO awards: Stars in Leeds for arena ceremony

Krept and Konan
Image caption Krept and Konan scooped awards for best hip-hop act and best album at the arena in Leeds

Stars including Lenny Henry, Rita Ora and Cee-lo Green have headed to Leeds for the 20th MOBO awards.

The First Direct Arena saw performances by artists including Ella Eyre, Lethal Bizzle and Lianne La Havas.

Early awards went to Krept and Konan for best hip-hop act and Stormzy for best Grime act.

Green, best known for his work with Gnarls Barkley and single Forget You, is receiving an outstanding achievement award.

The 41-year-old said: "I am honoured by this acknowledgement, especially so young in my career.

"And it is all the incentive anyone would need to continue doing what I love."

'Incredible music scene'

Leeds City Council estimated hosting the 20th MOBO awards would bring in £1.35m to the local economy through ticket sales and hotel stays.

MOBO (Music of Black Origin) founder Kanya King announced the awards would be heading to West Yorkshire at the Leeds West Indian Carnival in August.

Image caption Guests included Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, Leeds singer Corinne Bailey Rae and boxer Nicola Adams

Singer John Newman said: "It's important that these huge events go to places that thrive in music.

"I studied here in Leeds and lived here for three years and it's an incredible music scene."

He added: "It's very important that these cities outside the capital are constantly pumped with influence so they can project even further."

Amongst the guests were Leeds singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae and Olympic gold winning boxer Nicola Adams.

Analysis - Mark Savage, Music reporter

There's an assumption that when people talk about urban music, they're really talking about inner city London - but some of the UK's biggest urban artists have come from outside the capital.

Birmingham gave us Goldie, UB40 and Laura Mvula; Bristol produced Massive Attack and Roni Size; while Leeds and Bradford gave rise to Corinne Bailey Rae, Tamsin Archer and rap collective Fun-Da-Mental.

So it's fitting that the MOBO awards have travelled to Leeds, where there is a growing underground hip-hop scene.

It's just a shame that there are no local nominees in the line-up. In fact, only one of the 10 acts up for best newcomer hails from outside the M25.

Sam Smith was last year's big winner, taking four awards at the ceremony in London.

Councillor Judith Blake, from Leeds City Council, said: "We're so excited that the MOBOs are coming.

"It reflects Leeds as a diverse and well-integrated city and we're just thrilled to be hosting it."

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