Brian May, best known as the lead guitarist for rock group Queen, is the latest voice to criticize the BRIT Awards’ decision to scrap the categories of Best Female and Best Male Solo Artist in favor of a single Artist of the Year award.
May, reportedly speaking to Central Recorder regarding whether eliminating single sex groups would be detrimental for female artists, reportedly said: “I honestly don’t know if it disadvantages one group but it’s a decision that has been made without a lot of thought. I don’t know what the long-term consequences are. A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone. I think some things need to go back.”
“What matters is justice and equality of opportunity, no matter who you are, and that is actually not happening at the moment as everyone is jumping to conclusions and everyone is scared of doing the wrong thing,”May be Added. “I do find it very uncomfortable. I don’t think things are going very well, I have to say.”
Tuesday’s announcement by the BRIT Awards was made by Tom March, a new Polydor president, that single sex categories would be dropped for solo artists. Instead, they would replace them with the Artist of the Year Award, and the International Artist of the Year Award.
The body stated in a statement that the change was to celebrate “artists solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them, as part of The BRITs’ commitment to evolving the show to be as inclusive and as relevant as possible.”
However, there are concerns that female artists will be less likely to win awards than male artists.
The Best Song category is a shortlist with 10 nominees. For the past two years, there has been only one female lead artist for a track: Dua lipa in 2021, and Mabel 2020.
And in 2020, two supposedly gender neutral award categories – Best Group and Best Album – didn’t nominate a single female artist.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dories expressed her concern earlier this week. “[It’s] quite a sad decision,”Dorries. “My concern would be that women weren’t fairly represented moving forward.”