MOBO Awards 2017
See the nominees
Sampha won the Mercury, grime got politically engaged, afrobeats was everywhere, Cardi B became the first unaccompanied female rapper to get a US no.1 since Lauryn Hill, and Drake was, well...still being Drake. Another year, another excellent time for both British and international music of black origin, so of course the MOBOs are celebrating in style. This year's ceremony takes place in Leeds on the 29th November: take a look at the nominees.
The first winner to have been announced is jazz singer-songwriter, Gregory Porter. With his smooth vocals and swoony music, we're not surprised the American-now-adopted-Brit has made such an impact.
A tough one to call: on the one hand, Sampha's slowburning, soulful Process won him the Mercury, but Stormzy and J Hus were nominated for that too, and both have the most nominations at this year's MOBOs (plus Stormzy's gospel-tinged album was the first grime record to get a UK number one, ever). That's not to discount the lyrical prowess of Wretch 32 or the surprise debut from Nines, either.
Best Video: Nomination 1
Best Video: Nomination 2
Of course, given that it got an unforgettable cameo in Eastenders, Stormzy's 'Big For Your Boots' is surely a frontrunner in this category. But it'll have to fight for the prize: J Hus' humid banger, plus cuts from Kojo Funds, Not3s and Yungen are all very worthy contenders.
Best Video: Nomination 3
Best Video: Nomination 4
Best Video: Nomination 5
If he doesn't win best album then odds are this is Sampha's for the taking, but it's been a beautiful year for forward-thinking R&B all around. Jorja Smith's Drake co-sign has sent her stratospheric, Ray BLK's sassy vibes have seen her rise to the fore, while NAO and Craig David have remained dreamy.
It's been another rich year for jazz and its fusion - be it Kendrick Lamar-producer Terrace Martin on the hip hop end, or drummer Moses Boyd and his fascinating blend of the genre with grime. There was also former-Bombay Bicycle Club frontman Mr Jukes' foray into soulful big bands with an album featuring the late, great Charles Bradley, Daymé Arocena's luscious Afro-Cuban tones, and the impossibly smooth sound of British vocalist Cleveland Watkiss.
The return of legendary Damien "Jr. Gong" Marley with a credible album might make this seem a foregone conclusion, but reggae's new school is doing great things too - Chronixx, Alkaline and Aidonia have all been making waves, and last year's winner Popcaan has sustained his infectious brand of dancehall.
Be it the more old school smooth ebb and flow of Mali Music or the glitchy futurism of Lurine Cato and Triple O, it's been a strong year for gospel that thinks outside the box.