Women Only Won MOBO Awards in One Category That Wasn’t Defined by Gender

Jorja Smith was robbed tbqh.

|
30 November 2017, 11:23am

Stefflon Don, winner of this year's Best Female MOBO Award (Photo via PR)

It feels we've come a long way from that phase the MOBO Awards went through of mostly giving prizes to Sam Smith. In recent years, the ceremony – designed to celebrate the artistic contributions made by black artists (hence the name "music of black origin") – has championed the new and exciting music people are actually listening to, across different genres, in a manner almost unrecognisable to an awards show like the Brits. After all, the #BritsSoWhite campaign was launched, and its voting system rejigged, in response to how absolutely tired people were of black artists being overlooked for nominations. Though no one gets it right all the time, the MOBOs tend to do well.

And in some ways, last night's ceremony was no different: Stormzy, who has become a bonafide national treasure over the past year, led the way with three awards for Best Male Act, Best Album for Gang Signs & Prayer, and Best Grime Act. Dave won Best Newcomer, while J Hus' "Did You See" was named Best Song, and Nigerian artist Wizkid beat out a category heavy with US acts to scoop the Best International Act trophy. Seems like a pretty good spread, huh?

Well, it might have been if a few more women had been honoured. The only female artists who were awarded last night were Stefflon Don (in the Best Female Act category), and gospel group Volney Morgan and New-Ye, which comprises some – but not all – female members. And while that's great news individually for Steff (who's already having a stellar week, what with being announced for the BRITs Critics Choice shortlist on Wednesday) and Volney Morgan and New-Ye, it's a real shame for all of the talented women nominees who have been making waves, and doing new and exciting things this year.

Jorja Smith, for example, was beaten by Craig David for Best R&B and Soul Act, while Steff and Little Simz lost out to Giggs for Best Hip-Hop. Pointing that out isn't to take away from the deserving of any of the winners, but more to say that in genre categories, despite being some of the most inventive artists out (often because they have to be to get the same recognition as their male peers), women never seem to pick up quite as many accolades well as their male counterparts. When women's contributions are – and have been – so large, let's hope the MOBOs address this gender imbalance next year. See a full list of the winners below:

Best male

*Stormzy
Bugzy Malone
Chip
Dave
Giggs
J Hus
Maleek Berry
Mostack
Sampha
Skepta

Best female

*Stefflon Don
Emeli Sandé
Jessie Ware
Jorja Smith
Lady Leshurr
Little Simz
Mabel
Nadia Rose
NAO
Ray BLK

Best album

*Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
J Hus – Common Sense
Nines – One Foot Out
Sampha – Process
Wretch 32 – Growing Over Life

Best newcomer

*Dave
Jorja Smith
Kojo Funds
Lotto Boyzz
Loyle Carner
Mabel
Mist
Not3s
Stefflon Don
Yxng Bane

Best song

*J Hus – "Did You See"
Kojo Funds feat. Abra Cadabra – "Dun Talkin"
Not3s – "Addison Lee"
Stormzy – "Big For Your Boots"
Yungen feat. Yxng Bane – "Bestie"

Best video

*Mist – "Hot Property"
Bossman Birdie – "Walk The Walk"
J Hus – "Spirit"
Loyle Carner – "The Isle Of Arran"
Stormzy – "Big For Your Boots"

Best hip-hop act

*Giggs
Little Simz
Loyle Carner
Nines
Stefflon Don
Wretch 32

Best grime act

*Stormzy
AJ Tracey
Chip
P Money
Skepta
Wiley

Best R&B/soul act

Craig David
Jorja Smith
NAO
Ray BLK
Sampha

Best international act

Wizkid
Cardi B
DJ Khaled
Drake
JAY-Z
Kendrick Lamar
Migos
Solange Knowles
SZA
Travis Scott

Best African act

Davido
Eugy
Juls
Maleek Berry
Mr Eazi
Sarkodie
Tekno
Tiwa Savage
Wande Coal
Wizkid

Best reggae act

Damian Marley
Aidonia
Alkaline
Chronixx
Popcaan

Best jazz act

Moses Boyd
Cleveland Watkiss
Daymé Arocena
Mr Jukes
Terrace Martin

Best gospel act

Volney Morgan & New-Ye
Lurine Cato
Mali Music
S.O.
Triple O

Follow Noisey on Twitter.