The BRIT Awards have officially abolished gendered categories

22 November 2021, 17:26 | Updated: 22 November 2021, 17:39

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

The BRITs 2022 will not include male and female awards.

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The BRIT Awards have officially removed gendered categories from the ceremony.

Since launching in 1977, The BRITs have awarded prizes for Best Male Solo Artist and Best Female Solo Artist. On Monday (Nov 22), The BRITs confirmed that the two categories will now be merged to create the Artist of the Year category, which makes J Hus and Dua Lipa the last stars to win Best Male Solo Artist and Best Female Solo Artist.

This will also be applied to the International categories. Instead of International Male Solo Artist and International Female Artist, which was won by The Weeknd and Billie Eilish in 2021, the award will now be International Artist of the Year.

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The BRIT Awards have officially abolished gendered categories
The BRIT Awards have officially abolished gendered categories. Picture: BRITs, Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

It's not just the gender-specific categories that have seen changes, though. Four new fan-voted genre categories have now been added to the line-up: Alternative/Rock Act, Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap Act, Dance Act and Pop/R&B Act.

BRIT Chair Tom March said of the new categories: "It is important that The BRITs continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible. It feels completely the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for the music that they create, and the work that they do, irrespective of gender."

In 2019, it was reported that The BRITs considered getting rid of their gendered categories in order to include non-binary musicians. Sam Smith, who identifies as non-binary, was excluded from 2021 BRITs despite their album, Love Goes, reaching No. 2 in the UK.

"Music for me has always been about unification not division," Sam said on Instagram at the time. "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."

The BRITs 2022 will be held at The O2 in London, UK, on February 8. Mo Gilligan will serve as host, replacing comedian Jack Whitehall.

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