BRIT Awards 2022 to remove male-female gendered categories in an effort to make honours more inclusive

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The BRIT Awards announced recently that they will no longer have distinct male and female artist categories. The announcement comes as an effort to make the music awards more inclusive. It has long been criticized that the awards have failed to reflect the diversity of British music. This will include non-binary artists.

The BRITAwards have awarded honours along gender lines since they began in 1977. However, the organizers had promised to review the way prizes were given in 2019, but kept the male and female categories segregated until now. The British Academy of Music, which selects the winners, was expanded in 2017 to include more than 1,000 music industry experts, in an effort to make the group more gender-balanced and diverse.

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Next year’s awards will include awards for the UK and worldwide artist of the year, in addition to male and female honours in each category. This means, Dua Lipa and J Hus to go down in history as the last ever respective winners of the UK gendered categories. The shift will also be reflected in the international category, where the best the best international male and female awards - won by The Weeknd and Billie Eilish this year - will be replaced and merged in a single best international artist prize.

According to the organizers, the shift will honour musicians solely for their music and not how they choose to identify themselves or how others perceive them based on their gender. The Brit Awards 2022 will also contain four new awards based on public vote for diverse genres- alternative/rock act, hip hop/grime/rap act, dance act, and pop/R'n'B act. The comedian Mo Gilligan will host the Brit Awards 2022 on February 8 at London's O2 Arena.

The change is not pathbreaking as MTV Video Music Awards replaced its best male and best female prizes with an overall best artist award in 2017. The Grammys also merged the male and female categories for best pop vocal, country vocal and R&B vocal performances in 2012. In the 10 years since then, the prizes have been split exactly 50/50 between men and women. The BRITS was put in a fix when Sam Smith, a three-time BRITS winner, was ruled ineligible after coming out as non-binary in 2019 and received no nominations for Love Goes that reached number two in the UK chart. The BRIT Awards 2022 will change from gender to genre with four new categories determined by public vote.

(Source: Twitter) 

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