Brit Awards organisers have revealed they’re making changes ahead of next year’s ceremony following a row over a lack of diversity among its nominees.
In 2021, the Brits overhauled their categories, including removing gendered categories and replacing them with prizes for Best British Artist and Best International Artist.
This was addressed by the night’s winner, Harry Styles, who gave a shout-out to British women who could have been nominated in the category – including Becky Hill, Charli XCX, Florence + The Machine, Mabel and Rina Sawayama – during his acceptance speech.
It’s now been revealed that this category will now have 10 nominees instead of the usual five, in a bid to “make the Brits inclusive and reflective”.
Dr Jo Twist of BPI, who organise the Brits, told BBC News: “Obviously we were disappointed that no women were nominated for artist of the year in 2023.
“So we reached out to people in the industry and expert groups to understand how we can improve this for this year, to make the Brits inclusive and reflective.”
This isn’t the only major change that’s being made in response to a backlash last year, though.
In 2022, music fans voiced their further disdain when the Best Pop/R&B category – also introduced the previous year – recognised only artists from the pop genre, with no R&B performers making the cut.
As a result, the BPI has confirmed that this category will now be split into two, with separate awards being given to pop and R&B artists in 2024.
In response to the Best British Artist backlash, a spokesperson for the Brits previously told HuffPost UK: “While it’s disappointing there are no nominations in the Artist of the Year category, 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.”
Following this, a subsequent statement was issued, “acknowledg[ing] and shar[ing] in the disappointment that” no women had been recognised in the Best British Artist field.
“We recognise this points to wider issues around the representation of women in music that must also be addressed,” they said.
The Brit Awards will take place on 2 March 2024 next year, marking the second time in history the event will be held on a Saturday night.