BRIT Awards faces backlash after failing to nominate a single woman for best artist: ‘The biggest joke’

The BRIT Awards are under fire for failing to recognise a single woman for artist of the year, despite introducing gender-neutral categories in a bid to promote inclusivity.

Harry Styles, Central Cee, Fred Again, George Ezra and Stormzy are all in the running for the award, snubbing a range of incredible British female artists like Charli XCX, Pink Pantheress, Florence & The Machine, Cat Burns, Rina Sawayama and many more.

Fans and performers have slammed the ceremony for their dire exclusion of female artists, with singer-songwriter Lauren Aquilina writing:

“Nah this is so disappointing.. they couldn’t come up with one single woman who might be deserving of this award????”

Other Twitter users have given their scathing thoughts on the list, with Amy McDonald replying to the shortlist with a blunt: “Girl power”.

The BRIT Awards announced in late 2021 that it would scrap its “best male” and “best female” categories in favour of gender-neutral awards.

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The best British and international artist categories had previously been split into male and female since the awards began in 1977, even though other categories, such as best album, had been open to artists of all genders.

Organisers announced that from this year, they would combine the gendered categories and “launch new awards for artist of the year and international artist of the year”.

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Scrapping gendered awards, they said, means “celebrating artists solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them, as part of the BRITs’ commitment to evolving the show to be as inclusive and as relevant as possible”. 

Elton John Olly Alexander Years & Years BRITs
Elton John and Olly Alexander performing “It’s a Sin” together at a past BRIT Awards. (YouTube)

Tom March, BRIT chair and co-president of Polydor Records said in a statement: “It is important that The BRITs continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible.

“It feels completely the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for the music that they create, and the work that they do, irrespective of gender.”

Last year, Adele snatched the award for Artist of the Year, in which Little Mix and Lil Nas X were also nominated.

When the change was announced, there was also backlash from various gender-critical activists.

The nominations for Best Hip Hop/ Grime/ Rap Act are also all male, snubbing ferociously talented rappers like Little Simz.

“UK industry doesn’t know what to do with R&B.”

The Brit Awards are also being criticised by singer, songwriter and producer MNEK for lumping pop artists and R&B artists together.

MNEK wrote that “there’s enough R&B/hiphop artists to have their own category at LEAST.”

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They then followed up by clarifying that “it’s whack cos the gen pop will think cos Cat is black, she’s R&B.”

Cat Burns was also nominated in the Song of the Year category for her song “go”.

The BRIT Awards will take place on 8 February 2022 and will be hosted by stand-up comedian Mo Gilligan.

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