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News: Ghetts, Sugababes and Cristale to perform at 26th MOBO Awards

10 min read
News: Ghetts, Sugababes and Cristale to perform at 26th MOBO Awards

Ghetts, Sugababes and Cristale are the latest performers announced to perform at the 26th MOBO Awards in association with MOBOLISE in Sheffield on 7 February 2024. They will join the line-up alongside Soul II Soul, DJ Spoony and Byron Messia. Sugababes and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill will receive special honours on the night.

Hosted by Babatúndé Aléshé and Indiyah Polack, with MOBO-nominated broadcaster and cultural commentator Zeze Millz announced today as the roaming co-host, this will be a night to remember as the UK’s biggest and most prestigious celebration of Black music and culture rolls out its red carpet for the very first time in Sheffield. Tickets for the ceremony at Utilita Arena Sheffield are available at mobo.com/tickets.

The ceremony will be live streamed on YouTube (youtube.com/mobotv), with BBC One broadcasting the “26th MOBO Awards: Access All Areas” on Friday 9 February, 11.30PM. Presented by BBC Radio 1Xtra’s DJ Target, this special will include highlights from the ceremony, exclusive behind-the-scenes action, performances and red carpet interviews. In the lead up to the MOBO Awards, BBC Radio 1Xtra will shine a spotlight on the Song Of The Year category, by playing nominated tracks across all BBC Radio 1Xtra daytime shows from next week.

MOBOLISE, the career development platform from MOBO, is now the proud headline sponsor of the MOBO Awards. This powerful statement is a bold declaration of MOBO’s enduring commitment to creating spaces where excellence and equality coexist. With a rich legacy of driving positive social change and boosting representation, MOBO, through MOBOLISE, sets a new standard in celebrating talent – not just on the stage, but in sectors across the workforce.

Music icons Sugababes will be honoured with the MOBO Impact Award in recognition of their enduring legacy and influence on a new generation of artists. They will also be performing a medley of their hits at the Awards. As one of the most successful British girl bands of the 21st century, Sugababes have scored six No.1 singles, stacked up millions of global sales and multiple multi-platinum albums. Over the last two years; Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan have been back in prominence with new releases and multiple live performances, including a field-closing Glastonbury set. Renowned for their signature vocal harmonies and a distinctly British blend of pop, R&B and edgy dance music; this group’s influence on a generation of artists, like Little Mix and FLO, is undeniable.

Sugababes said: “MOBOAwards, thank you for presenting us with 2024’s Impact Award! To be able to look back on our two decades plus journey and be told that our music has touched so many people – even inspiring other artists – is something to be proud of. We are really looking forward to celebrating with everyone and performing at this year’s show.”

Olympic champion and three-time world champion heptathlete Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is one of Britain’s most successful athletes. Further to her achievements in sport, Sheffield-native Jessica is an inspirational role model for many and a passionate advocate for local charities close to her heart. A true national and local treasure.

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill said: “I’m honoured to receive the Paving the Way award at this year’s MOBO Awards. Not only because I’m such a huge fan of the work that MOBO does to inspire the next generation, but also this year it’s taking place in my hometown, Sheffield! Paving the way goes beyond winning a medal, it’s about creating paths for others like myself. So if I’ve inspired young people to pursue their dreams and take up sports then I’m doing my job. Grateful for this honour – here’s to inspiring and being inspired!” 

MOBO Founder & CEO, Kanya King CBE said: “It just gets better and better as we gear up for the 26th MOBO Awards in Sheffield next week. We reveal more phenomenal musical performances and will honour legends in music and beyond for their game-changing accomplishments, such as Sheffield’s very own legend Jessica Ennis-Hill and the incredible Sugababes with the irrespective Paving The Way and Impact Awards.

We are also thrilled to announce MOBOLISE, MOBO’s career development platform, as this year’s new headline sponsor of the MOBO Awards. Social purpose is in our DNA, so the decision for MOBOLISE to become the headline sponsor underscores our unstoppable dedication to creating spaces where excellence and equity are not just encouraged, but are fundamental. The ‘MOBO Awards in association with MOBOLISE’ represents more than just recognition of artistic talent, it symbolises a movement towards a more inclusive society.”

Grime music pioneer Ghetts will be performing at the 26th MOBO Awards in association with MOBOLISE, hot on the trail of his new album On Purpose, With Purpose and forthcoming headline tour. Two decades into his career, theLondon rapper is at the peak of his powers with more critical and commercial attention than ever before. Ghetts ascends to new heights as a songwriter on his latest album, expanding his sonic palette to include Soul, R&B, Afrobeat, Amapiano and Gospel. He won Best Male Act at the 2021 MOBO Awards, off the back of the critically-acclaimed album Conflict of Interest, which peaked at No.2 – his highest charting album yet.

Rising UK rap star Cristale is steadily carving a lane of her own with an extensive creative repertoire which include rapping, singing, writing poetry and acting. The silver-tongued South London wordsmith first entered public consciousness in 2022 when viral hit ‘Bong Bing’ propelled her onto mobile devices across the globe. This was shortly followed by her debut EP “What It’s Like To Be Young”, which earned her a MOBO Best Newcomer nomination by the year’s end. With 2023’s ‘Roadents’, Cristale’s skill of detailing a vivid tapestry of inner-city trauma found the track fittingly featured in the final series of Top Boy, where she also made her TV acting debut. She also stars in MOBO nominee Daniel Kaluuya’s directorial debut film The Kitchen. All eyes are on this rising star as she makes her MOBO live debut in Sheffield next week.

Other performers on the night also include DJ Spoony, who will be curating a landmark performance to mark the 30th anniversary of UK Garage -expect some very special appearances. Dubbed the ‘Godfather of Garage’, Spoony has been pivotal in helping kickstart the UK Garage music movement in the 90s, which catapulted homegrown talent from the underground scene to the world stage.

Dancehall’s golden boy Byron Messia is hotly-tipped as the next global breakout star from the Caribbean rap scene. The 23-year old Saint Kittian native made waves with his inescapable summer smash ‘Talibans’, earning co-signs from Dave and Burna Boy. Following the release of his 2023 album, “No Love”, Byron has kept the momentum going with the hits ‘Mad Dawgz’ and ‘La La’ featuring Suarez, adding hundreds of millions of streams to his name. He is also nominated for MOBO Best Caribbean Music Act.

Soul II Soul will be honoured with a MOBO Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of their enduring impact on the British music scene. Emerging in the late 80s from the London sound system and pirate radio scene; Soul II Soul – spearheaded by Jazzie B – progressed from being one of the leaders of the 80s warehouse scene to pioneering British black music around the world, selling over 10 million records along the way with their club classics steeped in R&B, soul and funk.

MOBO Awards Sheffield – The Fringe organised by Sheffield City Council in collaboration with MOBO and members of the local community, will take place in the run up to the awards show on 7 February, and will see the city showcase all it has to offer in the way of Black music and culture. From Monday 5 February right up to the Awards, the city will be transformed into a haven for lovers of Black music and culture. Sheffield’s best new and emerging talent from across the MOBO genres will perform at a talent showcase on 5 February. The city will also play host to a music industry panel, with leading players in the industry offering insight to young talent. Local schools will also be getting involved in the action, exploring the impact of Black music and culture through a range of educational activities. With the Fringe finale celebration on the day of theAwards in the city centre.

Captain Morgan Black Spiced is the official spirits sponsor of the 26th MOBO Awards in association with MOBOLISE and the Official VIP Aftershow Party.

Nominees across the 26th MOBO Awards in association with MOBOLISE come from a diverse range of 20 categories that include Little Simz and Stormzy, who are both tied with the most number of nominations(four each).

Little Simz has been nominated for Best Female Act (in association with SheaMoisture), Album of the Year, Video of the Year and Best Hip Hop Act. Simz won big at last year’s ceremony in London, taking Album of the Year in a joint win with Knucks, which saw a tie for the first time in MOBO history.

Stormzy is up for Best Male Act, Album of The Year, Song of The Year (supported by BBC Radio 1Xtra), Video of The Year. The widely celebrated MC has won a MOBO Award a record 6 times, including being the first ever recipient of Best Grime Act when the category was introduced by MOBO in 2014.

This year’s nominations see strong representation from female artists and groups, who as a majority are leading nominees across top MOBO Awards categories, including Album of The Year, Song of The Year (supported by BBCRadio 1Xtra), Best Newcomer and more. A part of the long list, 22-year-old singer PinkPantheress is tipped once again for Best Female Act (in association with SheaMoisture) after she won in this category in 2022, and is also up for Song of The Year (supported by BBC Radio 1Xtra) and Best Electronic/Dance Act (supported by BEMA & Mixmag), a new category returning for a second year. It’s been a historic 12 months for RAYE with the release of her critically lauded debut album and Royal Albert Hall show, and now her triple MOBO Award nomination is the icing on the cake. The London singer is nominated for Best Female Act (in association with SheaMoisture), Album of The Year and Song of The Year (supported by BBC Radio 1Xtra) for Escapism released with American rapper 070 Shake.

Following closely behind with 3 nominations each is Central Cee, J Hus, PinkPantheress and RAYE. One of the UK’s most exciting MCs, Central Cee is up for Best Male Act, Song of The Year (supported by BBC Radio 1Xtra) and Best Drill Act (supported by Trench). He’s been championed by MOBO for years, having won twice in 2021 and 2022, and was tipped by MOBO with his first ever award nominations in 2021. J Hus, the London rapper who has had a career defining year with the release of his third album Beautiful and Brutal Yard, is also on 3 nominations; Best Male Act, Album of The Year and Song of The Year (supported by BBC Radio 1Xtra).

In the Best African Act (in association with Loco Music) category, MOBO recognises some of the newer acts who have been thriving in the past year – from South African artist Tyla whose viral hit “Water” became her first Top 40 single and her first-ever Number 1 on the UK’s Official Afrobeats Chart, to record-breaking Nigerian rapper and singer Rema whois also tipped, as well as Benin-born Nigerian singer/songwriter Ayra Starr who headlined her debut world tour this year.

Over in the Best Dance/Electronic Act (supported by BEMA & Mixmag) category, the women dominate; Aluna, 2022 winner Nia Archives, PinkPantheress, Shygirl and TSHA are all female artists nominated, as well as the Manchester-based DJ & producer, Salute.

MOBO is proud to continue the Best Alternative Music Act (in association with Marshall) and Best Dance/Electronic Act (supported by BEMA & Mixmag) categories for the second year in acknowledgement of the breadth and depth of music of black origin. The Best AlternativeMusic Act category is in recognition of artists who identify as indie, rock, punk or alternative as their primary genre; while the returning BestDance/Electronic Act (originally Best Dance Act in 1996) category recognise sartists who perform music within the genres of Jungle, Drum & Bass, House,Techno, Afro House, Amapiano, Dubstep, Garage, Disco, Electro, Dance-pop.

Since its inaugural ceremony in 1996 at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms, the MOBOAwards has become a calendar staple in the UK and its iconic trophy now one of highest accolades in music. In recent years, it has honoured trailblazers and exceptional homegrown talent like Dave, Little Simz, Skepta, Ghetts, Headie One, Stefflon Don, Mahalia, Central Cee, Aitch, Ella Mai, Knucks and more.Recognising its unique position in Black British popular culture, MOBO in recent years has expanded beyond music to celebrate talent in the arts and media. It awarded an Inspiration Award to acclaimed British filmmaker SteveMcQueen, Best Media Personality to Chunkz and Yung Filly, and Best PerformanceIn A TV Show/Film to Micheal Ward at last year’s ceremony.