Brit Awards still force for good, stars say despite all-male best artist line-up

The Brit Awards have been accused of sidelining women, but stars attending the event insist it is still a force for good, ITV News Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda explains

After taking the decision to scrap its gendered categories last year in a bid not to exclude non-binary artists, the Brit Awards is now facing more controversy.

This year's ceremony, recognising the best of British and international music, has been accused of sidelining women after only men were nominated for the Artist of the Year award.

In January Central Cee, Fred Again.., George Ezra, Harry Styles and Stormzy were chosen for the gender-neutral shortlist.

It prompted concerns of the glass ceiling being raised for female performers, but those taking part in the event have still defended it as a force for good.

Becky Hill celebrating her Best Dance Act win at last year's ceremony. Credit: ITV

Brit Awards host Mo Gilligan told ITV News that it's encouraging that the topic is being discussed, as it means "musicians are having their opinions heard".

He said this could mean more change for the better year after year, adding: "What award show doesn't come with controversy?"

There is more of a gender balance in some of the Brit Awards' other categories, however, with singer Becky Hill hoping to secure the Best Dance Act prize for a second year running.

Her success within a genre traditionally dominated by men is an example positive steps forward in the industry.

"It's been really difficult to break through the ceiling that I feel like there is in dance music, especially for women.

"I'm so proud for persevering and I feel like I'm showing other little girls that they can go into dance music."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know