The Brit Awards announced that in 2022 they plan to eliminate the gender segregations for male and female awards; and will have new categories for Artist of the Year and International Artist of the Year. The new categories will replace the separate male and female prizes used up until 2021 for best solo and best international act.
Non-Binary Artists Will Finally Be Able to Attend
“The Brits have committed to making the show more inclusive,” the organizers said in a statement on Twitter. On the awards show’s website, they added it was about “celebrating artists solely for their music and work; rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them. As part of the Brits’ commitment to evolving the show is to be as inclusive and as relevant as possible.”
Singer and Brit winner Sam Smith, who identifies as non-binary; has previously encouraged the Brit awards to change their rules regarding the gendered awards; to create categories that are best fitted for those who do not identify as a male or female. They were unable to participate in the gendered categories due to their identity; which is the case for many gender non-conforming artists. Other award-winning events such as the Grammys and MTV’s Video Music Awards have transitioned into gender-neutral categories as well.
The Brit Awards Add More New Categories
The upcoming awards ceremony will also debut four new categories: Alternative/Rock act, Pop/R&B act, Hip Hop/Grime/Rap act, and Dance act. “This year fans have more power than ever as we bring back the vote; while the Brits shine a light across a diverse range of genres,” the organizers noted.
Tom March, the Brits’ new chair and co-president of Polydor Records, said in a statement: “It is important that the Brits continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible. It feels completely the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for the music that they create, and the work that they do, irrespective of gender.”
Mo Gilligan will host the Brits. He succeeds Jack Whitehall, who hosted the last four years. The ceremony will be held at London’s O2 Arena on February 8, 2022.