Charli XCX has criticised the BRITs, calling out the gender disparity in their Artist of the Year shortlist.
The awards made the decision to scrap the male and female artist of the year categories in 2022. Instead, they opted for one gender-neutral category. Though Adele took home the award last year, 2023 saw a noticeable absence of female artists.
When asked by the BBC why she wasn’t nominated, despite being nominated in the Best Pop/R&B category, Charli responded, “Great question. I’ve heard a lot of chat about the fact there weren’t enough females in album cycle and that’s why no one was nominated”. However, she found it surprising that she wasn’t nominated, given that she “had a number one album”.
To be nominated for the Artist of the Year, an artist must have released one top 40 album or two top 20 singles in the past year. A voting academy of 1200 people then put forward their choices and determine the winner.
The 2023 shortlist included Central Cee, George Ezra, Stormzy, Fred Again and winner Harry Styles. Styles mentioned the lack of female nominees in his acceptance speech, dedicating the award to five female artists, Charli XCX, Mabel, Becky Hill, Florence and the Machine and Rina Sawayama.
Charli added that only one female-led act, Wet Leg, was nominated for British Album of the Year. This award was also claimed by Styles.
A spokesperson for the BRIT awards responded to the backlash, calling the lack of female nominees “disappointing”. In defence of the BRITs, they added that “2022 saw fewer high profile women artists in cycle”.
Charli doesn’t believe that a lack of female artists is the reason behind the male-dominated award. “I don’t think it’s our fault.” she said, instead referring to the voting academy. “I think it might be theirs”.