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The BRIT Awards considers gender-neutral award categories

Lily Wakefield September 22, 2019
Sam Smith at The BRIT Awards 2019

Sam Smith attends The BRIT Awards 2019 held at The O2 Arena on February 20, 2019 in London, England. (Jeff Spicer/Getty)

The organisers of the BRIT Awards, Britain’s biggest music awards, are reportedly considering making their award categories gender-neutral.

According to The Sunday Times, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) which organises the awards might ditch separate awards for Best Male Solo Artist and Best Female Solo Artist.

Although all other categories, including Producer of the Year and British Breakthrough Act are gender-neutral, the solo artist categories have remained gendered since the awards began in 1977.

Campaigners who support the change say that it will make the awards more inclusive of musicians who identify as non-binary.

Sam Smith, who performed at the BRIT Awards 2019 and was nominated for the Best Male Solo Artist award, came out as non-binary and genderqueer around a month after this year’s ceremony.

They said at the time: “Maybe I’m not a man, maybe I’m not a woman, maybe I’m just me and maybe that’s okay.” They later said that they want to be referred to with them/ them pronouns.

Dua Lipa at The BRIT Awards 2019
Dua Lipa performs during The BRIT Awards 2019 held at The O2 Arena on February 20, 2019 in London, England. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

The BRIT Awards could follow the VMAs in becoming gender-neutral

MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) made the decision to get rid of gendered award categories in 2017, and the Best Female Video and Best Male Video awards were combined into one genderless Artist of the Year moonman trophy.

Earlier this year, Lady Gaga called on the Oscars to also adopt gender-neutral award categories. 

Speaking to media after the ceremony on February 24, she sent a message of love to LGBT+ fans, and added that the ceremony should move away from gendered categories.

“I have a true dream in our future as we evolve as humanity that these award shows not be male and female, but that we include everyone,” she said.

Sources at the BPI reportedly told The Sunday Times that there would not yet be any changes to the award categories at the February 2020 BRIT Awards.

More: BRIT Awards, gender neutral, non-binary, Oscars, Sam Smith, vmas

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