Little Mix deserve to win Best British Group at the 2019 BRIT Awards
20 February 2019, 12:31 | Updated: 20 February 2019, 18:14
Little Mix will make BRITs history if they win British Group tonight...
British girl groups have released some of the most forward thinking pop music of all time. From the Spice Girls and All Saints to the Sugababes and Girls Aloud, it's hard to imagine the UK without singles like 'Say You'll Be There', 'Pure Shores', 'Push the Button' and 'Sound of the Underground'. Girl groups push pop into new and exciting places and the industry owes a lot to them.
15 times Little Mix proved girl power is alive and well
And yet, in spite of their countless contributions to British music, a girl group has never won the award for British Group at the BRITs. The Spice Girls were nominated in 1997, All Saints were nominated in 2001, the Sugababes were nominated in 2003 and 2004, Girls Aloud were nominated in 2008 and 2009 and Little Mix were nominated in 2016... but they all lost.
Little Mix are nominated again this year (against The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz and Years & Years) and they deserve to win.
Ever since Little Mix were formed by Kelly Rowland and Tulisa on the X Factor back in 2011, they have been underestimated by critics and the general public at large. They were the favourite to be voted off in the series' first live show; they won. They were predicted to split up just months into their career; they're still going strong over seven years later. They were tipped to flop; they thrived.
Little Mix have sold over 45 million records worldwide, fronted some of the biggest tours in music history and entertained us with showstopping performances time and time again (at the BRITs no less). Not only that but their music slaps. 'Move' is a genuine masterpiece, 'Secret Love Song' is a vocal masterclass and 'Touch' is 3 minutes and 33 seconds of what makes pop so great.
Better yet their music has embedded itself into the fabric of our very lives; its impact goes beyond the charts. 'Shout Out to My Ex' has become an anthem for anyone who's ever been cheated on, 'Wings' has helped countless young girls gain self confidence, 'Black Magic' is a signature hit at almost every UK wedding. Little Mix are attached to millions of memories.
Jade Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards have gone beyond being just being popstars. They've become a key part of British culture. You can't imagine the past seven years of British music without them. They've helped shape it and make it fun. Little Mix deserve multiple awards and, to top it all off, they've just had an award worthy year.
On November 16th 2018, Little Mix put out their best record yet. Like their previous albums, it's filled with bops and bangers but it also sees Little Mix explore more grown up lyrical content and hone their sound. 'Woman Like Me' isn't just a hit, it's a statement that Little Mix are transitioning from a girl group into a woman group before our very eyes and LM5 reflects that with every song.
'Forget You Not' may only be a deluxe track but it is also one of the most striking pop songs of the past year. It conveys the bittersweet end of a relationship perfectly. 'The Cure' achieves the rare musical feat of somehow being inspirational without being corny. It's genuinely moving. 'More Than Words' is an experimental Timbaland cut about friendship... and it works.
And then there's 'Strip'. It's well known that Little Mix have been body-shamed since being on the X Factor (Jesy spoke out against trolls commenting on her weight in the live shows). 'Strip' sees them reclaim the hate they have received and turn it into empowerment. The lyrics about self-love are so important: "Jiggle all this weight, yeah, you know I love all of this".
Not to mention, the video is incredibly powerful. It stars a diverse group of women of all shapes and sizes embracing their bodies and the skin that they're in. Little Mix also pose naked with all of the insults that have been thrown at them written over their bodies. It's simple but effective. Also if you're pissing off Piers Morgan, you're probably doing something right.
If that weren't enough Little Mix went on their first stadium tour last July with the Summer Hits Tour, collaborated with huge names like Nicki Minaj and used their position to uplift lesser known artists like Sharaya J (on 'Strip'), Ms Banks (their BRITs co-performer) and Kamille (their close friend and co-writer). They also used social media to raise awareness of issues like FGM, breast cancer and transphobia.
Little Mix may not receive the critical accolades of their male counterparts (their British Group competitors have all released better reviewed albums on Metacritic in the past year) but they have released bigger hits than all of them and their music is making an impact with the audience that it's speaking to: young women and people who love and appreciate pop music.
The artistry of girl groups is continually dismissed. Guitars are lazily referenced as markers of authenticity when harmonies and choreography are no less, if not more, impressive and just as valid forms of expression. In 'Woman's World' Little Mix sing: "You gotta work much harder // Than every single man, that's just the way" and it's true but it shouldn't need to be.
Awards may seem inconsequential. Whether or not Little Mix win this award will not take away from their influence or their achievements. However, ignoring the work of girl groups teaches girls that girl groups are lesser than male bands, that their taste in music is lesser than men's taste in music, that they are lesser than men. It's sexist and it needs to change.
The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz and Years & Years are all brilliant groups in their own right and it's understandable why they've all been nominated for British Group at the 2019 BRIT Awards. However, Little Mix deserve this award. They've been the biggest group in the UK for multiple years now and it's only right that an institution like the BRITs honours that.
Not just for Little Mix but for all the girl groups who've been robbed in the past.
To quote Jesy herself...