The Brit Awards, often considered a major event in UK music, have been under fire recently for their selection processes. This year, they attempted to address this by eliminating gender-specific categories like “best male” and “best female,” opting for a single “best artist” award. However, this move caused uproar as no female artists made it to the nominations.
Harry Styles won the award but made a point to dedicate his win to several deserving female artists like Rina Sawayama, Charli XCX, Florence and the Machine, Mabel, and Becky Hill. To rectify this, the 2024 awards will expand their shortlist from five to ten nominees, aiming for a broader representation of artists.
Additionally, the upcoming awards will introduce a new category for the best R&B act. Formerly grouped in the “best pop/R&B” category, R&B artists felt underappreciated, particularly with mainstream acts dominating the scene. The revamped criteria now extend eligibility to R&B artists who’ve had success in the past 24 months, rather than just the last 12, ensuring those who missed out in 2023 get a chance for recognition.
Another significant shift involves the “international artist of the year” category, which will now feature ten nominations, aiming for a more diverse representation of talent. Nominees might include big names like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Jack Harlow.
Dr. Jo Twist, CEO of the Brit Awards organizers (the BPI), expressed disappointment at the absence of female nominees in 2023’s artist of the year category. They’ve actively sought advice from industry experts to make the awards more inclusive and representative. Twist noted that this year looks promising for female artists and R&B acts, citing the eligibility of artists like Raye, Mahalia, and PinkPantheress across multiple categories.