Hosted by Wyclef Jean and Spice Girl Mel B, the 1999 MOBO Awards also saw some big names presenting awards – including Jerry Springer, Lulu, Chris Eubank and Scary’s fellow Spice Girl Victoria Beckham (with husband David Beckham in the audience!). Performers on the night included Tina Turner, Des’ree, Another Level, Phats & Small and South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Kele le Roc took away Best Newcomer, while Best Hip Hop Act went to south Londoner Roots Manuva – who The Times had previously declared “the voice of urban Britain”. Best International Hip-Hop Act went to the unmistakable Jay-Z, who released Vol. 2 – Hard Knock Life in 1998, which spawned the biggest hit of his career at the time, 'Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’.
Beverley Knight won Best Album for Prodigal Sista, while Shanks and Bigfoot took away Best Dance Act for the super-smash ‘Sweet Like Chocolate’ – a still-iconic UKG crossover hit. Lauryn Hill was in attendance, taking away the Best International Act award for her debut solo album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. In her acceptance speech, she said: “God bless you and keep shining through.” The Hype Williams-directed video for TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ won Best Video, while Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins won Best Producer.
Other winners on the night included Destiny’s Child (who performed live on the night - see photo above), Amoye and Erskine Thompson. Tina Turner picked up the Lifetime Achievement award as recognition of her 40-year-long rollercoaster career, before turning 60 the following month.
Listen to 1999's MOBO winners in this Spotify playlist:
The winners in full...
Best International R&B Act: Destiny's Child
Best Newcomer: Kele Le Roc
Best International Act: Lauryn Hill
Best International Hip Hop: Jay Z
Best Dance Act: Shanks & Bigfoot
Best Video: TLC
Best Album: Beverly Knight
Best DJ: Trevor Nelson
Best Single: Kele Le Roc
Best Unsigned Act: Amoyé
Best International Single: Eminem
Best Reggae Act: Mr Vegas
Contribution to Music: Erskine Thompson
Best R&B Act: Beverley Knight
Lifetime Achievement Award: Tina Turner