Culture / Film

On a disappointing note, only men are nominated for best artist at the 2023 BRIT Awards

2023 brit awards

In 2021, the BRIT Awards scrapped the gendered split for both the best international artist and best artist awards after heeding feedback from non-binary artists like Sam Smith. The point of the change was to recognise artists for their music, and not let arbitrary and outdated understandings of gender dictate nominees. It was a landmark decision, and one that should be adopted by other prestigious awards ceremonies, if you ask me. However, rather than open the floor to more talent, in 2023 it's had the opposite effect. On January 13, a full list of nominees for the 2023 BRIT Awards on February 11 dropped, and lo and behold, only men – Stormzy, Harry Styles, Fred Again, Central Cee and (inexplicably) George Ezra – are nominated for the gender neutral artist of the year award.

For the love of god, where are the women? Where are the genderqueer artists? And it's not just the artist of the year award where their absence is deafening. Indie duo Wet Leg are the only women in the running for Album of the Year, which is an odd choice considering Florence + the Machine and Charli XCX exist.

It's not as though the people making the decisions are an insular group either, the BRIT Awards voting academy are famously a varied 1,000-wide body comprising of record labels, publishers, managers, agents, media, and previous winners and nominees. Which leads one to believe it's less of a one-person problem, and more so reflective of the state of society as it stands: patriarchal and misogynistic. It's clear, until the pendulum swings evenly of its own accord, affirmative action is needed.

There are other snubs too. With categories like R&B and Pop blended into one, there's a notable disparity between what genre of artists are included. British singer Mahalia described the nominations as “nothing short of disrespectful," per Hypebae. Meanwhile, there's a call to divide other categories like Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap, where it could be argued that the genres stand out in their own right.

Given how receptive the voting academy has been in the past, it will be interesting to see how they respond to the criticism of the 2023 BRIT Awards.

Find a complete list of the BRIT Awards 2023 nominees, below.

Album of the Year

The 1975 - Being Funny In A Foreign Language
Fred Again - Actual Life 3
Harry Styles - Harry's House
Stormzy - This Is What I Mean
Wet Leg - Wet Leg

Artist of the Year

Central Cee
Fred Again
George Ezra
Harry Styles

Best group

The 1975
Arctic Monkeys
Bad Boy Chiller Crew
Nova Twins
Wet Leg

Song of the Year

Aitch and Ashanti - Baby
Cat Burns - Go
Dave - Starlight
Ed Sheeran and Elton John - Merry Christmas
Eliza Rose and Interplanetary Criminal - B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All)
George Ezra - Green Green Grass
Harry Styles - As It Was
Lewis Capaldi - Forget Me
LF System - Afraid to Feel
Sam Smith & Kim Petras - Unholy


Best international artist

Burna Boy
Kendrick Lamar
Taylor Swift

Best international group

Drake & 21 Savage
First Aid Kit
Fontaines DC

International song of the Year

Beyoncé - Break My Soul
David Guetta & Bebe Rexha - I'm Good (Blue)
Fireboy DML & Ed Sheeran - Peru
Encanto cast - We Don't Talk About Bruno
Jack Harlow - First Class
Lizzo - About Damn Time
Lost Frequencies & Calum Scott - Where Are You Now?
OneRepublic - I Ain't Worried
Taylor Swift - Anti-Hero


Best new artist

Kojey Radical
Rina Sawayama
Sam Ryder
Mimi Webb
Wet Leg

Rising Star

Flo - winners
Cat Burns
Nia Archives

Best alternative / rock

The 1975
Arctic Monkeys
Nova Twins
Tom Grennan
Wet Leg

Best dance

Becky Hill
Calvin Harris
Eliza Rose
Fred Again

Best hip-hop/rap/grime

Central Cee
Loyle Carner


Cat Burns
Charli XCX
Dua Lipa
Harry Styles
Sam Smith

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Image: @charli_xcx