Panjabi MC, who hit the charts recently with Mundian To Bach Ke, and BBC Asian Network were among the winners at the first UK Asian Music Awards in London.
By Inderpreet Sahota
BBC News Online
This has been more than a long, hot Indian summer - it has been an Indian year.
With Bhangra beats making their mark on the UK charts, the first UK Asian Music Awards ceremony on Wednesday celebrated the growing popularity of the urban Asian music scene.
Multi-instrumentalist Nitin Sawhney opened the awards show with a very special performance, which was co-presented by Radio 1 DJ Nihal and Zee TV's Sangeeta.
The BBC Asian Network staff were among the night's winners
While Panjabi MC scooped the best Bhangra single award for the Knight Rider remix, Mundian To Bach Ke, which stormed the UK charts earlier this year, it was the new knights Rishi Rich, featuring Jay Sean and Juggy D who really stole the show.
Winning the best producer and best R&B single awards, producer Rishi Rich has worked with Craig David, Mis-teeq, and the queen of pop, Britney Spears.
He is fast establishing himself as the premier talent in the urban Asian music scene.
Apache Indian and Pras gave a fantastic performance
It was a night for faces old and new. Indy Sagu won the award for best newcomer; and just when you thought Boomshackalack was a distant dance anthem of the 1990s, Asian pop artist Apache Indian won the prize for best international success.
This followed a sensational live performance with Pras from the Hip Hop group, The Fugees.
The outstanding achievement award went to the "Godfather of Bhangra" and celebrity DJ and producer Bally Sagoo, hailing a career that has spanned over two decades.
This prize was picked by the panel and voted for by the public.
Nominated in four categories, The Panjabi Hit Squad picked up the gong for best radio DJ.
Group member Markie Mark, a white DJ who co-hosts a radio show on the BBC's 1Xtra station, also won the commitment to the scene award.
Rishi Rich (centre) is congratulated on his awards
He said: "Asian culture is part of the fabric of British society.
"Asian music is now in the mainstream. It isn't just a fashion. We are building a foundation that will last in the future."
The Asian media also was also saluted. Snoop was voted the best Asian magazine, whilst the BBC Asian Network collected the best Asian radio station award.
The vibrant sound of British Asian urban dance music has finally made it into the club and it seems everyone is going mad for it. Everyone is after a "brimful of Asia".
The UK Asian Music Awards 2003 will be televised on ITV on 11 November 2003.