Singer Leona Lewis collected more boos than awards after she failed to turn up at the Mobo (Music of Black Origin) Awards in London Wednesday night.

Lewis, 23, picked up Best Album for the multi million-selling Spirit at the star-studded awards ceremony as well as Best Video for Bleeding Love.

There was loud booing after it was revealed she was not present to pick her awards up in person.

Lewis, who became the first British woman to reach number one in the US singles charts for more than 20 years, gave an acceptance speech by video for the Best Album award.

"Thank you so much. I'm so sorry I can't be here with you tonight... I'm there in spirit with you all," she said.

Sinitta accepted the Best Video award on Lewis's behalf but could barely be heard above loud booing.

"I remember when Simon (Cowell) and I first discovered her and she goes from strength to strength... You should be proud of her," she said.

Earlier in the night awards host Mel B had urged the audience: "Stop giving Leona Lewis a hard time you lot. It's not her fault she can't be here."