MOBOs founder Kanya King receives accolade at Music Week Awards
- Credit: Paul Harries
Brent's Kanya King CBE received a prestigious accolade at the Music Week Awards, with tributes paid from across the industry.
In the 25th anniversary year of the MOBO Awards, its founder was presented with the Strat Award by singer Craig David.
Kanya began her career in 1996 and has changed the industry for Black artists and helped shaped the pop landscape.
“25 years in the making, words can’t describe how much this means to me and our culture," she said.
"Thank you for this special recognition and to everyone that has supported me and the MOBO Organisation along the way.
"This award is dedicated to all those who have gone before me and whose shoulders I stand on and to the younger generation who will be making their own mark – go for it.”
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Singer Ray BLK was among those to pay tribute to the entrepreneur, saying: "Thank you so much for giving a spotlight for Black music and for doing so when other people were afraid to.
"The new generation can only now copy and follow in your footsteps because you’re the trailblazer who started it all.
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"We’re so grateful, thank you for your support, for me in particular in my career so far and I cannot wait to see what you and the MOBOs continue to do in the years to come.”
Kanya this year launched MOBOLISE, a digital platform to connect Black talent with career opportunities. It has been backed by figures including including Emeli Sandé, Maya Jama, Afua Hirsch, Mo Gilligan and George The Poet.
Other initiatives include the MOBO Help Musicians Fund, which sets out to provide financial and business support to emerging talent, and the MOBO UnSung competition, which provides opportunities to unsigned artists.
Brent Central MP Dawn Butler said: “Congratulations on your Strat Award. It’s well deserved and long overdue. I hope this will elevate not just you but the MOBO Awards where you want it to be.
"I know you’re driven and you had a vision as to where you want to go. Just to let you know we’re all here supporting you and cheering you on. Congratulations, I look forward to seeing it on the shelf with all the others.”
Others speaking in praise of Kanya included artists Skin, Rapman and Krept & Konan; MPs Helen Grant and David Lammy; and record label heads Max Lousada (Warner Music), Jason Iley (Sony UK) and David Joseph (Universal Music)