ENTERTAINMENT

Brit Awards 2017: Michael Kiwanuka And Nao Praise ‘Increase In Diversity’ After Nominees List Announcement

'Music is made by everyone and it’s for everyone.'

16/01/2017 12:35 GMT | Updated 16/01/2017 12:38 GMT

Michael Kiwanuka and Nao, two of this year’s Brit Awards nominees, have praised the organisation behind the ceremony, for increasing diversity levels with the 2017 nominations list.

Last year, just four of the 48 nominees were BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) artists, but the voting academy who decide which stars deserve a nod has made a concerted effort to ensure the list reflects the UK’s diverse music scene this time around.

Mike Marsland via Getty Images
Michael Kiwanuka
Jo Hale via Getty Images
Nao

The voting academy itself was also diversified ahead of this year’s awards, and now consists of 52% men and 48% women, while 17% of its members are BAME (via Digital Spy).

Skepta leads this year’s nominations, with three nods, alongside Little Mix.

The grime star has had an outstanding 12 months, thanks to the release of his latest album ‘Konnichiwa’, which entered the charts at number two and won the Mercury Prize.

Craig David - who, last year, called for the awards to be more inclusive - is also in the running for the Best British Solo Male Artist prize.

See the full list of nominations here.

14 Surprising Brit Awards Winners