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22nd Nov 2021

Brit Awards to remove gendered categories

Katy Brennan

The best male and female solo artist will be condensed into a single gender neutral award.

The Brit Awards is set to get rid of male and female categories ahead of its ceremony in 2022.

British male solo artist and British female solo artist will be replaced by one award – artist of the year.

An international artist of the year award will also replace the current female and male international artist awards.

The awards have faced pressure in recent times to do away with gendered categories.

Sam Smith, who identifies as non-binary and was left out of male and female solo artist categories last year, previously 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.”

Following Sam’s statement at the time, The Brit Awards said it was “committed to evolving the show” and that the gendered categories were “under review”.

It went on to say: “Any changes made to be more inclusive need to be just that – if a change unintentionally leads to less inclusion then it risks being counterproductive to diversity and equality. We need to consult more widely before changes are made to make sure we get it right.”

A few other changes are coming to the award show in 2022. In a bid to be more inclusive, the song of the year award will recognise featured artists as well as the lead artists.

As well as this, the ceremony will introduce four new awards, including alternative/rock act, hip hop/grime/rap act, dance act, and pop/r’n’b act.

British stand-up comedian Mo Gilligan will replace Jack Whitehall as host at the upcoming event.

“It’s an absolute privilege to host the 2022 Brit Awards. I’m truly honoured to be asked,” he said.

“We’re already in the extensive planning stages and all I can say is, I promise we’re going to give it all we’ve got to create an incredible night for music fans everywhere. Let’s go!”

The Brit Awards are not the only awards show making these kinds of changes, as the MTV VMA awards have been gender neutral since 2017.

Meanwhile, the Emmy awards allowed non-binary actors to be referred to as “performers” rather than actors or actresses this year.

The Brit Awards 2022 ceremony takes place on 8 February 2022.