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Sam Smith reflects on Best Artist controversy at Brit Awards


Sam Smith has expressed his disappointment following the announcement of the nominees by the Brit Awards for this year’s ceremony, in which only male artists have been recognized in the Best Artist category.


Earlier this month, it was revealed that Central Sea, Fred Again.., George Ezra, Harry Styles and Stormzy were all in the running for the gender-neutral category, for which no female artists were nominated.

The decision was met with a wide backlash from music fans, including three-time British winner Sam.

talking to Sunday TimesThe profane singer said it was a “shame” not to see any women in the running for the Best Artist category, which was introduced in 2022 as a way of showcasing the awards as “as inclusive as possible”.

“Things are moving forward, but it is clear that it is not there yet,” he said. “From looking at that list, there’s still a long way to go.”

Sam Smith on stage at the 2019 Brit Awards, where he performed with Calvin Harris

Sameer Hussain via Getty Images

Sam said: “It’s incredibly frustrating. It seems like it should be easier said than done.

He added, “They just have to celebrate everyone because it’s not just about artists getting awards. Awards are for kids watching on TV who think, ‘I can make music like that’.”

“When I was younger, it would light up my heart if I saw more queer people at these awards. Awards are there to inspire.


Although no women took home the Best Artist category, indie duo Wet Legs are among this year’s leading nominees, with Kat Burns also nominated for three awards.

Sam is nominated for two awards – Best British Single and Best Pop/R&B Act – and will perform his latest hit Unholy during the show next month.

Mo Gilligan will host Britain for the second time in 2023
Mo Gilligan will host Britain for the second time in 2023

Karwai Tang via Getty Images

A spokesperson for Brits previously told HuffPost UK: “While it is disappointing that there have been no nominations in the Artist of the Year category, we also have to recognize that 2022 with a major release will see less high-profile female The cast was seen as it happened in 2021.


“These trends based on release schedules are a feature of the music industry, but if, over time, a pattern emerges, it puts pressure on the industry to tackle this important issue – and the BPI is already doing a major job.” is doing studies to identify the barriers that may be preventing more women from succeeding in music, in order to come up with solutions that result in meaningful change.

Meanwhile, the Brits faced further criticism when it emerged that no R&B artists were recognized in the exclusive Best Pop/R&B category.

The Brit Awards 2023 will air live on ITV from the O2 Arena in London on Saturday 11 February.

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