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BRIT Awards under fire for lack of R&B representation

Multiple R&B artists have criticised the omission of their genre

  • Becky Buckle
  • 13 January 2023
BRIT Awards under fire for lack of R&B representation

The BRIT Awards is facing criticism for a lack of R&B representation in this year's nominees.

The Pop/R&B Act category features Cat Burns, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith and Harry Styles as nominees, while R&B has also been overlooked in non-genre-specific categories. This same response was also witnessed last year.

Artist Mahalia has tweeted on the Pop/R&B Act category: “Desperately searching for the R&B act” as well as another tweet reading: “Forget putting us in this category. Give us our own!!!!! How many times do we have to scream at you?”

Tiana Major9 has also posted on social media sharing the Pop/R&B Act announcement with the caption: “Are you purposely trying to antagonise R&B artists?”

There are also no women in both the Artist of the Year and Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Act categories.

In 2021, the awards stopped gender-based categories after criticism came from non-binary artist Sam Smith who couldn’t be nominated due to not having a gender-neutral category available.

At the time, Smith said: "I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in."

Read this next: Headie One calls out UK government in BRIT awards performance

Little Simz featured in both these categories at the previous ceremony, with Adele awarded Artist of the Year.

“I understand why this has changed, but I really love being a woman and a female artist. I’m really proud of us,” said Adele once she was announced Artist of the Year.

Read this next: Fired up: How Erika De Casier grew into an R&B sensation

The BRITs will take place on February 11 hosted for the second year running by comedian Mo Gilligan.

Mixmag has reached out to the BRIT Awards for a comment.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

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