The Brit Awards, one of Britain’s biggest music events, have unveiled their 2022 nominees, with the likes of ABBA, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Måneskin and Olivia Rodrigo up for awards. Adele and Ed Sheeran picked up four nominations each with both getting nods for album of the year, artist of the year, best pop/R&B act and song of the year. Also scoring four nominations were British rapper Dave (album and artist of the year, best hip hop/rap/grime act and song of the year) and British singer-rapper Little Simz, reports variety.com.
‘Good 4 U’ singer Olivia Rodrigo has been nominated for international artist and song of the year awards, while ABBA is up for international group of the year and Italian glam rock band Maneskin “the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest winners” received nods for international group and song of the year.
The awards courted controversy this fall after revealing plans to drop gendered categories and institute just single best British artist and best international artist awards.
The rule change prompted concerns that female artists, many of whom are already at a disadvantage in a male-dominated industry, are more likely to miss out on awards.
For two consecutive years, the best song category, which is chosen from a shortlist of 10 nominees, has only fielded one female lead artist on a track: Dua Lipa in 2021 and Mabel in 2020. And in 2020, two supposedly gender neutral award categories “best group and best album” didn’t nominate a single female artist.
One vocal critic for the move was Queen’s Brian May, who said the decision had been “made without a lot of thought.”
“I don’t know what the long-term consequences are,” May said. “A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone. I think some things need to go back.”
In a statement, Brit Awards organisers “under the new leadership of Polydor co-president Tom March” said the change was made 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.”
Last year’s Brit Awards, held in May, were one of the first major live events to take place in Britain amid the pandemic, carried out as part of a government pilot project for live events.
This year’s awards will be held on February 8.