The MOBO awards have been criticized for favoring U.S. artists, which didn't stop American star Beyonce from winning three Wednesday -- for best international female, best song and best video for "Deja Vu," featuring Jay-Z.
Other American winners were the Black Eyed Peas for best group, while the best international male award went to Jay-Z.
Meanwhile, Akala followed in the footsteps of his older sister, Ms. Dynamite. The 22-year-old London rapper (real name: Kingslee Daley) took the best hip-hop prize, his victory coming just four months after the release of his acclaimed rock-infused album "It's Not a Rumour."
"I didn't expect this," Akala said. "I know the album did really well, but I was the least known in my category."
Akala beat more established names such as Busta Rhymes and Kanye West at the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
He said of his sister: "Every time she won an award, I felt like I'd won an award as well, and I think she feels the same for me. There's no rivalry or competition at all."
Ms. Dynamite won three MOBO (Music of Black Origin) awards in 2002.
Corinne Bailey Rae, 27, whose song "Put Your Records On" took home two prizes -- for best U.K. female and best U.K. newcomer.
Outside the hall, jazz fans protested against the removal of that music category from the awards.
--Best Group: Black Eyed Peas
--Best U.K. Female: Corinne Bailey Rae
--Best U.K. Male: Lemar
--Best Song: Beyonce, "Deja Vu," featuring Jay-Z
--Best International Female: Beyonce
--Best International Male: Jay-Z
--Best U.K. Newcomer: Corinne Bailey Rae
--Best Hip-Hop: Akala
--Best Reggae: Sean Paul
--Best D.J.: Steve Sutherland
--Best African Act: Batman Samini
--Best Video: Beyonce, "Deja Vu," featuring Jay-Z
--Best R&B: Rihanna
--Best Gospel: Nu Life