R&B takes singer to six of the best in just one year

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The Independent Culture

A year ago, he was an unknown teenager from Southampton with a passion for R&B. Last night Craig David became one of Britain's biggest music stars with a record-breaking number of nominations for the Mobo Awards.

A year ago, he was an unknown teenager from Southampton with a passion for R&B. Last night Craig David became one of Britain's biggest music stars with a record-breaking number of nominations for the Mobo Awards.

The 19-year-old singer picked up six nominations at the annual awards in London, which celebrate the best of the R and B, garage and hip-hop world. It is the highest for any single artist since the Music of Black Origin awards began five years ago.

His collaborators, the production team Artful Dodger, gained four nominations, as did R&B singer Jamelia and garage star M J Cole.

Last night's ceremony was at Alexandra Palace, after the nominations were announced last month in Las Vegas. David's haul of nominations included two mentions in the best single category, one with Artful Dodger for "Women Trouble" and the other for his first solo number one "Fill Me In". He was also up for best R&B act, best UK newcomer, best UK garage act (again with Artful Dodger) and best video for Seven Days.

David, who started DJing at 14, has gone to number one with his singles "Fill Me In" and "Seven Days" and his album Born To Do It. He was performing at the awards, with Gabrielle, and the US stars Sisqo and Donell Jones. But most anticipation was for the UK soul singer Sade, who after dominating the album charts in the Eighties with record sales of more than 40 million seemed to disappear from the music scene. After eight years, marriage, divorce and the birth of her daughter she was back with a single, "By Your Side". Other nominations include Jamelia for best video and best UK single for "Money", whileM J Cole was up for best producer and best UK newcomer.

Artful Dodger's other nominations for the MasterCard Mobo Awards 2000 were best producer and best UK newcomer. Rap star Eminem was nominated for best hip-hop act, while the Reggae legends Aswad will pick up the Mobo outstanding contribution to music award. The event was being televised by Channel 4, and will be broadcast tonight.

The contenders were picked by 1,000 music and media experts, who make up the "Mobo Academy". Winners were decided by fans. More than 600,000 votes were registered on the Mobo website for the 14 categories. Last year's award winners included Maxi Priest, Lauryn Hill and the British soul singer Beverley Knight, a double winner for best album and best R&B act, rising star Kele Le Rock and the jazzman Denys Baptiste.

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