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Mobos back in Glasgow for 18th birthday

There's a distinct coming-of-age feel to this year's Mobo awards.

Music fans celebrate 18 years of the bash recognising Music Of Black Origin when the event returns to Glasgow this weekend.

The star-studded guest list features big names including Rudimental, Tinie Tempah, Laura Mvula and So Solid Crew, hosted by radio stars Trevor Nelson and Sarah-Jane Crawford. It's a long way from the early days of the event, the brainchild of Kanya King, who now features on the inspirational Radio Four Woman's Hour Power List.

The hard-working entrepreneur launched the awards from her bedroom in 1996 to establish the urban music scene against the odds. Growing up in Kilburn in London with an Irish mum and Ghanaian father, she was told at school the best she could hope for was a job at Sainsbury's.

After dropping out of drama school she struggled to bring up her young son on her own and, despite having no contacts in the music business, King successfully launched the project that celebrates black music and culture, and has brought it into the mainstream. She was so committed, she risked her home to fund the enterprise that earned her an MBE.

The awards moved to Scotland from London for the first time in 2009 and have been here every other year since. This year's show is at the SSE Hydro, and will be the first multi-artist award show televised at the venue. So Solid Crew are to reunite for a special performance this year as the British grime and hip-hop group make a comeback.

There's a touch of tartan to proceedings in the shape of the 20-year old frontman of Celtic rock band Gleadhraich. Craig Weir will give the stars and audience a traditional Scots welcome and is no stranger to such events, having performed a piece he wrote for the visit of the Dalai Lama to Dundee last year.

He also piped for the Queen with the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland.

The Mobos wouldn't be what they are without a touch of bling. A smartphone made of solid 18-carat gold has been created to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the awards. The £2750 HTC One handset, the most expensive smartphone ever produced by the company, will be given to whoever wins this year's best newcomer award and is one of only five created by the designers.

The event returned to Glasgow in 2011 as part of a £500,000 deal to stage it in the city in 2013 and 2015. Many happy returns indeed.

Mobo Awards, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, October 19.

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