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Brit Awards won’t have gender-neutral categories in 2020 and will maintain ‘best female artist’ and ‘best male artist’

Vic Parsons November 5, 2019

Sam Smith on stage at The O2 Arena in London, England, 2018. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Brit Awards bosses will not be introducing a gender-neutral “best artist” category for the 2020 awards, despite one artist likely to be considered for those categories – Sam Smith – identifying as non-binary.

Smith, 27, came out as non-binary earlier this year and in September requested that the media and public respect their pronouns.

With the success of Smith’s singles ‘Dancing with a Stranger’ and ‘How Do You Sleep?’, they are likely to be in the running for an award nomination – or they would be, were there a gender-neutral award category.

While the best artist categories are still split into two genders, other Brit awards categories have been changed for the February 2020 ceremony.

The 40th Brit Awards will have nine categories, with changes including: the Rising Star Award (previously the Critics Choice Award), Best New Artist (previously British Breakthrough Act), and Song of the Year (previously British Single).

It was previously reported that the Brit’s would review its Best Female Artist and Best Male Artist, with the possibility of adding a gender-neutral Best Artist category to accommodate the increasing number of artists who identify outside the gender binary.

But, while this may still be the case for the 2021 ceremony, it won’t happen in time for the 2020 awards.

Piers Morgan previously claimed that Smith is responsible for “wrecking” the Brits, after the reports that its gendered award categories could be abolished surfaced.

The Good Morning Britain host vented at the news in September, repeatedly misgendering Smith as he likened the decision to controversies about transgender people competing in sport.

TV personality Peter Andre also slammed the idea of ditching male and female categories at the Brit Awards in favour of non-binary-inclusive ones.

The 46-year-old singer, who has never been nominated for a Brit, lashed out against the alleged move saying people get “offended way too easily nowadays”.

More: BRIT Awards, gender neutral, non-binary, piers morgan, Sam Smith

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