Brit awards: all-male best artist category reveals wider music industry sickness
Out of the 71 acts eligible for the gender-neutral award, only 13 were female or non-binary. The dearth exposes the British industry’s inability to develop anyone but young men
More fool anyone who looks to awards ceremonies as arbiters of societal progress, but in 2021, when the Brit awards did away with gendered categories, it seemed as though the industry stalwart was moving in the right direction.
The decision came after Sam Smith, who came out as non-binary in 2019, was automatically excluded from that year’s best British male and female categories, despite being the sort of commercial behemoth who otherwise would be – and with three wins and nine more nominations, always had been – a shoo-in for stats-oriented Brits recognition. At the time of the 2021 nominations, Smith said: “I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in. Let’s celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.”