The BRIT Awards is receiving backlash after unsuccessfully recognizing a single woman in the Artist of the Year category.
All the BRIT nominees have now been announced ahead of the forthcoming ceremony on January 12 – with the organization having abandoned gendered categories for the second consecutive year. For the top prize for this year — that celebrates the best in UK music — the only nominees are men: with Central Cee, Fred again.., George Ezra, Harry Styles, and Stormzy all up for the award.
The shortlist represents a big step backwards, after Adele won the award in the gender-neutral category in 2022. Commenting on the news, Tim Burgess, frontman of the legendary Brit Pop band, The Charlatans, said:
“So the BRITS introduced an Artist of the Year category as a gender-neutral replacement for Best Male and Best Female Artist category — but this year all five nominees are blokes. One step forward, three steps back.”
However, as per the HuffPost, a BRITS spokesperson said: We have to recognize that 2022 saw fewer high-profile women artists with major releases, as was the case in 2021. These trends based around the release schedule are a feature of the music industry, but over time, a pattern emerges, then this puts the onus on the industry to deal with this important issue.
“The award’s international counterpart did not have the same problem, having recognized Beyoncé, Lizzo, and Taylor Swift alongside Burna Boy and Kendrick Lamar.”
Leicester-born singer, Mahalia — who Hypebeast UK recently listed as its best R&B act for 2022 — also said: “Winning awards isn’t the reason why we make and release music. We do this sh*t out of love. But at this point, it’s nothing short of disrespectful.”
Furthermore, as the nominations were announced, it noted that 42% of this year’s nominations went to female artists or female-fronted bands, comparable to last year’s figure of 46%.
However, as a whole, Harry Styles and Wet Leg lead the nominations for this year’s BRIT Awards with four each, including nods for the coveted Best Album award. Stormzy, Cat Burns, The 1975, and Fred again.. are close behind with three apiece. Styles is almost guaranteed to win Artist of the Year, after an impressive 12 months in which he secured the UK’s best-selling single, “As It Was,” and best-selling album, Harry’s House.
Elsewhere, Blackpink has become the first Korean-pop girl band to be recognized by the BRITS, with a nomination for Best International Group. Girl band FLO was previously announced as the winner of the Rising Stars Award, just nine months after releasing their debut single, “Cardboard Box.” The prizes for producer and songwriter of the year will be announced at a later date.
This year’s ceremony will take place on February 11, hosted for the second consecutive year by comedian, Mo Gillian and in other music news, listen to this week’s best new tracks.
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