NEPTUNES and N.E.R.D star PHARRELL WILLIAMS has left organisers of the plagued MOBO awards in further strife after pulling out of tomorrow night’s (September 30) event.
Williams, booked to host the event, is the latest in a string of big names to pull out. Female host Naomi Campbell also made her excuses after hearing his decision.
This year’s event has been beset with controversy since the withdrawal of awards for Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel over allegedly homophobic lyrics. Acts such as Beverly Knight won’t be appearing due to a lack of British content in the nominations, while acts like Eamon won’t show due do his distaste at a Best Ringtone nomination.
An official spokeswoman for the awards said: “Due to scheduling problems it is unfortunate Pharrell has had to withdraw.”
However, an insider told The Mirror: “Pharrell is a no-show because he’s heard no big hip-hop stars are turning up. There’s no Kanye West, who is on tour, no Nas… no one who’s really hot.
“Everyone at MOBO was in meltdown. They couldn’t believe Pharrell would leave them in the lurch at the last minute.”
Mos Def is rumoured to be his replacement, but the organisers are still looking for a female host.
“They were going to get Jada Pinkett-Smith but that came to nothing,” the source continued. “There was also talk of Alesha Dixon from Mis-Teeq, but she had other commitments.
The awards will take place at the Royal Albert Hall.