Brits Thrash Yanks At MOBOs

British artists hit back against American dominance of the urban music scene by taking eight out of 13 categories at the MOBO Awards.

JLS and N-Dubz were the big winners, taking two awards each. Tottenham rapper Chipmunk beat Kanye West and Eminem to collect the award for best hip hop act.

Chipmunk, aka teenager Jahmaal Fyffe, raps about rather un-American subjects such as drinking tea and his school exam results.

West, Eminem, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Akon, and Mariah Carey were among the U.S. acts that were nominated but didn’t show for the 15th MOBO Awards.

Newspapers speculated that the low American turnout might be because the ceremony moved from London to Glasgow.

“Glasgow just isn’t sexy and it’s a very white city,” Paul McKenzie, former MOBO panelist and former editor of Touch magazine, told the London Evening Standard.

MOBO organisers said the lineup was a sign that British talent is showing that it can be as successful as its U.S. counterparts.

As it turned out, Beyoncé was the only one who would have needed to make it to the SECC Sept. 30 – winning best international performer – because all the others would have gone home empty-handed.

Jermaine Jackson was the only U.S. visitor of note, singing “Smile” as part of a special MOBO tribute to his brother Michael.

The MOBO Awards, which were founded in 1994, celebrate artists of any race who perform black-influenced music.