Entertainment

Only men compete for first prize at the British gender-neutral awards

In the second year since the British scrapped their male and female categories, the shortlist for the main award, artist of the year, is made up entirely of male musicians. Only one of the five album of the year nominees is a female group: the band Wet Leg.

Harry Styles, Stormzy, George Ezra, Fred Again and Central Cee are all set for the most sought after gong, which raises the question of whether gender-neutral categories are detrimental to female artists.

Last year, however, women dominated the awards ceremony, with Adele taking Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year.

Despite her treble of awards, the Tottenham-born singer grabbed headlines with an impassioned defense of female artists.

“I understand why this has changed,” she said, “but I really love being a woman and a female artist. I am very proud of us”.

The men are outnumbered by the women in the best new artist category as Wet Leg, Mimi Webb and Rina Sawayama take on British Eurovision star Sam Ryder and rapper Kojey Radical.

Women are also leading the charge in the international artist category.

Beyoncé, Lizzo and Taylor Swift are also nominated, and the poster is completed by Kendrick Lamar and Burna Boy.

Sam Smith, who will perform at the ceremony at London’s O2 on February 11, told the 2014 awards that all artists should be able to be recognized “regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.”

Twitter users spoke out against the artist of the year shortlist.

Composer Emer Landers said: “Seeing the lack of female nominees in the #BRIT this year is just shocking in this day and age.

“Particularly in their seemingly gender-neutral ‘Artist of the Year’ category, which now contains 5 male artists.”

Another user wrote: “Unless Adele makes another album, enjoy her deletion, female artists.”

While another commented: “The BRITs got rid of the Male/Female Artist of the Year to be more ‘inclusive’, so the short list for the new ‘inclusive’ Artist of the Year is… EVERY MEN who would have! thought-out! !



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