Brit Awards to Drop Gender-Specific Categories From 2022 Ceremony
Music

In response to pleas from artists like Sam Smith, the awards show will combine Best Female and Best Male categories into a single prize for Best British Artist.

AceShowbiz - Brit Awards bosses have dropped the ceremony's gender-specific categories following pleas from artists like Sam Smith.

As a result, Dua Lipa and J Hus will go down in history as the last stars to win Best Female and Best Male at the Brit Awards. As of next year, the two categories will be combined into a single prize for Best British Artist.

Smith was among those calling for the change, stating voting excluded non-binary artists, like himself.

"The Brits have been an important part of my career," Smith said in a now-deleted post. "Music for me has always been about unification not division. 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 new rule ends the Best Female and Best Male categories, which have been in place since the awards began in 1977.

In a statement announcing the change, awards show bosses said they would be "celebrating artists solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them" moving forward.

The shift will also be reflected in the international category, where the Best International Male and Best International Female awards, picked up by The Weeknd and Billie Eilish this year, will be replaced by a Best International Artist trophy.

The 2022 Brit Awards will take place on February 8 at London's O2 arena.

The announcement came months after officials shared their stance on the issue. In March, a spokesperson of the BRITs said, "The BRITs are committed to evolving the show and the gendered categories are very much under review."

"But any changes made to be more inclusive need to be just that -- if a change unintentionally leads to less inclusion then it risks being counterproductive to diversity and equality," the representative continued. "We need to consult more widely before changes are made to make sure we get it right."

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