Brit Awards draw criticism due to male-dominated lineup

By George Hancorn, ITV News' Here's The Story

Harry Styles and Wet Leg lead the nominations at the 2023 Brit Awards, but nominations in key categories have drawn some criticism.

After bosses at the Brit Awards announced in 2021 that it would be introducing Artist of the Year and International Artist of the Year categories in order to be more inclusive, several high-profile female artists spoke out over fears it could make it tougher for them to break through.

In her acceptance speech in 2022, Adele addressed the category changes.

One year on - as artists prepare to take to the Brits stage, many in the industry have spoken out about so few women being included in nominations.

For Artist of the Year - Central Cee, Fred again.., George Ezra, Harry Styles and Stormzy have all been nominated.

Elsewhere, for Album of the Year, all but one of the nominees is male.

Singer and producer MNEK criticised those behind the Brits, with a lack of representation in the Pop/R&B category.

MNEK's been a vocal critic of this year's nominees Credit: AP

The singer tweeted: "OK this is silly now. We get it. UK industry doesn’t know what to do with R&B.

"But there’s enough R&B/hiphop artists to have their own category at LEAST.

"Bellah, Tiana Major 9, Jack James, FLO, None of these artists is making R&B music."

In a statement to HuffPost UK, a Brits spokesperson said this year's awards will showcase the "the very best of music talent from the UK and around the globe – with the nominations reflecting artists of all backgrounds and a wide breadth of music genres."

They said that the introduction of new categories last year aim to make the awards "even more inclusive, recognising exceptional work rather than how artists identify".

“We are pleased to see Wet Leg leading the nominations with four nods and FLO winning the Rising Star, and artists such as Nova Twins also included in this year’s shortlists, and while it’s disappointing there are no nominations in the Artist of the Year category, we also have to recognise that 2022 saw fewer high profile women artists in cycle with major releases as was the case in 2021," the statement read.

“These trends based around the release schedule are a feature of the music industry, but if, over time, a pattern emerges, then this puts the onus on the industry to deal with this important issue – and the BPI is already carrying out a major study to identify barriers that may inhibit more women becoming successful in music, so that there can be solutions that result in meaningful change.”

The Brits Awards 2023 will take place on Saturday, February 11, and will broadcast live on ITV1 and ITVX from London’s The O2 arena.