Brit Awards two-time winner launches furious attack on non-binary rule change as NO WOMEN nominated for top prize
Published: 07/02/2023- 13:02
Updated: 07/02/2023- 13:07
Singer Shaznay Lewis attacked a non-binary rule change at the Brit Awards after no women were nominated for the best artist category.
The two-time Brit award winner said it "does not feel right that female artists have suffered" after the best male and female artists were merged into one category to allow non-binary acts to compete.
"How can that be the case if we do not acknowledge female artists, who are symbols of empowerment to millions of young aspiring women?” she wrote in the Radio Times.
Lewis, who previously won the two prestigious awards as a member of band All Saints, described the change as a "welcome and wonderful step" for recognising talent regardless of gender.
Harry Styles is the favourite to win artist of the year at the Brits this year
But continued saying: "If the Brits are meant to be accolades for all, how can we persist with a category that this year has excluded half of the population, women? I'm hoping it won't be the case in 2024."
Last year, Adele was the first winner of the newly-titled artist of the year category.
While accepting the award, she said: "I understand why the name of this award has changed but I really love being a woman and being a female artist. I'm really proud of us."
This year, the best artist nominees are Fred Again, Central Cee, George Ezra, Stormzy and Harry Styles.
Female artists such as Charli XCX and Florence + The Machine missed out, however acts like Wet Leg, Nova Twins and Cat Burns are recognised in other categories.
Lewis added: "Women, predictably, have suffered as a result [of merging the categories]. It does not feel right."
Brit organisers said the changes were made because "it was time to progress to judging artists solely on the quality and popularity of their work, rather than on who they are, or how they choose to identify".
Adele was the first winner of the newly-titled artist of the year category last year
A total of 42 per cent of nominations this year featured women, but that a key factor behind the best artist shortlist was "unfortunately, there were relatively few commercially successful releases by women in 2022 compared to those by men", according to Brit bosses.
Organisers said: "We are wholeheartedly committed to a considered review of the categories over the immediate months following this year's event.
"And this will include industry consultation and discussion, in line with what we instigated over the past five years, with any conclusions and actions made ahead of the 2024 event."