Emeli Sandé and Plan B lead the way with five nominations each, followed by Rita Ora and Labrinth who each picked up four nods.
> MOBO Awards 2012: Nominations in full
Sandé is up for 'Best UK Female', 'Best R&B/Soul', 'Best Video' for 'My Kind Of Love', 'Best Song' for 'Next To Me' and 'Best Album' for Our Version Of Events.
Plan B, meanwhile, will compete for 'Best Male', 'Best Hip-Hop/Grime', 'Best Song' and 'Best Video' for 'Ill Manors' and 'Best Album' for Ill Manors.
MOBO founder Kanya King MBE said: "We are very excited about the nominations for the 17th MOBO Awards.
"The talent this year has been truly exceptional and we are so proud to be flying the flag for urban music which has again been dominating the charts in the past MOBO Music year. Good luck to all those nominated!"
Elsewhere, X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson is nominated for 'Best UK Female' and 'Best R&B/Soul Act', while Misha B is up for 'Best Newcomer'.
Jessie J and Tulisa Contostavlos will also battle it out in the 'Best UK Female' category.
The ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 3 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. Fans can buy tickets and vote for their favourite artists on the MOBO website.
Watch Emeli Sandé's video for 'My Kind of Love' below: