ENTERTAINMENT

Brit Awards 2017: UK Music Diversity Boss Claims This Year ‘Might Actually Be A Breakthrough’

In 2016, just 4 of the 48 nominees were BAME artists.

22/02/2017 16:34 GMT | Updated 22/02/2017 16:42 GMT

Keith Harris, who runs the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, has praised the Brit Awards organisers for making this year’s event and nominations more diverse.

Last year’s Brits came under scrutiny, as just 4 of the 48 nominees were BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) artists, and a concerted effort to improve things has been made.

Joseph Okpako via Getty Images
Skepta has three Brit Award nominations this year 

Speaking to Press Association, Keith has praised industry executive Ged Doherty for leading the way with the changes, stating: “I’m not going to say it’s down to one person, but it’s certainly down to one person at the top, and that’s Ged.

“There is some genuine involvement rather than looking nose-pressed against the glass knowing you’re not going to win anything. People feel there might actually be a breakthrough.”

However, he insisted that making sure the Brits celebrates all genres of British music is an ongoing task, adding: “The question is whether this is going to be long-term or short-term. That’s my concern.

“As long as it’s not just a reaction to the publicity given last year, as long as it’s genuine.

Jordi Vidal via Getty Images
Michael Kiwanuka has previously praised efforts to improve diversity levels at the ceremony 

“I don’t think people actually want to be hearing in five years the same embarrassing questions being asked.”

“The black music community are pleased to be involved.”

The landscape at the 2017 Brit Awards is considerably more diverse than in years before, something which has previously been praised by nominee Michael Kiwanuka.

“This is a dream come true and the increase in diversity is a great thing,” the Best British Male and Album Of The Year nominee stated in January. “The importance of diversity is that’s what music is. It shows you another viewpoint of how you think in your head and it makes you see the world differently.

“It’s not just about the colour of your skin, but it’s part of it.”

20 Most Memorable Brit Awards Moments