Brit Awards to scrap gender-specific categories

The organisers of the Brit Awards say the separate male and female categories are to be removed in order to be more inclusive, ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar reports

Separate male and female categories are to be scrapped at the Brit Awards, it has been announced.

Awards will instead be handed out simply in best artist categories following criticism from artists, including former winner Sam Smith who identifies as non-binary.

Smith believes gender neutral artists were not represented by the previous criteria gongs were awarded upon.

Tom March, Brit Chair and Co-President of Polydor Records: “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.

"I'm really excited to launch four new genre awards, which create even more opportunities for artists to be acknowledged for the brilliant music they create and produce, and give music fans the chance to get involved and vote to support their artists and help them to win a Brit.

"The 2022 show is shaping up really well, Mo is going to be an excellent host and I am thankful to him along with Clara and Maya for being part of this year's Brits."

Sam Smith has criticised the awards in the past. Credit: PA

Recently the Arias, Australia’s biggest music awards, announced they were going gender neutral, joining the Grammys, though most awards ceremonies remain split between male and female.In recent years the Brit Awards have faced criticism for the dominance of male nominees, there will be concern that this could make the situation worse.The awards will take place on 8 February, hosted by Mo Gilligan.

Listen to our entertainment podcast, Unscripted

Here are the full list of award categories:

Artist of the Year with YouTube Music

Group of the Year

BRITs Rising Star supported by BBC Radio 1

Best New Artist

Song of the Year with Mastercard

Mastercard Album of the Year

International Artist of the Year

International Group of the Year

Alternative/Rock Act

Pop/R&B Act

Dance Act

Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act