Skip to main content

Do the Brit Awards Know There’s Women In Music Too?

Harry Styles opening a car door in Don't Worry Darling

In the first year after going gender-neutral across all its categories, the Brit Awards have exclusively nominated men for the Artist of the Year award, as well as just two female bands in the Group of the Year category.

The nominees for Artist of the Year are Central Cee, Fred Again, George Ezra, Harry Styles, and Stormzy. While all excellent musicians, can the Brit Awards truly say there are no British women with a similar level of talent at the moment? Florence & the Machine and Charli XCX both enjoyed high-profile releases in 2022 that could well have earned them a mention.

In the Group of the Year category, two female-led bands, Wet Leg and Nova Twins, did earn spots, alongside three male-led groups, The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, and Bad Boy Chiller Crew. Only one album created by women was nominated, Wet Leg’s self-titled release.

In other categories, women had more luck, with Taylor Swift and Beyonce being nominated in the International category. Still, female representation is down four percentage points this year, dropping to 42% from last year’s 46%, according to the BBC.

The Brit Awards are an example in practice of why simply making awards shows entirely gender-neutral is not enough to result in strong representation. With it only in its first year of running the awards in this way, this could well be teething problems— but if that’s the case, I’d expect to see more systems put in place for next year to make sure the wealth of female musical talent in the UK is better recognised next year.

In other areas, the Brit Awards have made many firsts this year, such as nominating non-binary singer Sam Smith and trans musician Kim Petras for their single Unholy. Smith’s words last year were thought to contribute to the Awards’ decision to go gender-neutral, after they said they “look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in.”

Elsewhere, girl band Blackpink have become the first K-pop group to be recognised by the Brits, with a nomination for Best International Group, while Encanto‘s We Don’t Talk About Bruno is the first-ever Disney song to be shortlisted for a category, appearing in the Best International Song category.

This year’s Brit Awards ceremony will take place on 11 February, hosted for the second year running by comedian Mo Gilligan.

(featured image: Warner Bros)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: