‘One step forward, three steps back’: Brit Awards backlash after women snubbed in Artist of the Year nominations

Awards body abandoned gendered categories last year

Ellie Harrison
Friday 13 January 2023 07:44 GMT
Brits Awards 2022: Adele dominates the ceremony and other highlights

The Brit Awards are receiving widespread criticism after failing to recognise a single woman in the Artist of the Year category.

Nominees were announced for the forthcoming ceremony on Thursday (12 January). This year is the second year that the organisation has abandoned gendered categories.

The artists nominated in the category celebrating the best in the UK were Central Cee, Fred Again.., George Ezra, Harry Styles and Stormzy.

No women were nominated for the prize, which has been seen as a big step backwards after Adele won the award in the gender-neutral category’s inaugural year in 2022.

“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,” tweeted musician Tim Burgess. “One step forward, three steps back.”

“Florence and the Machine being snubbed at the Brits when she could have fit in so well to the Artist of the Year category... oh I’m mad,” added another person.

A third posted: “Not one woman nominated for the Brits Artist of the Year, come off it!!!”

A Brits spokesperson called the lack of women in the category “disappointing”, telling HuffPost, in part: “We also have to recognise that 2022 saw fewer high profile women artists in cycle with major releases as was the case in 2021.

“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 award’s international counterpart did not have the same problem, having recognised Beyoncé, Lizzo and Taylor Swift alongside Burna Boy and Kendrick Lamar.

Read the full list of nominations here.

The 2023 Brit Awards will air live on ITV from London’s O2 Arena on Saturday 11 February.

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