We are proud that The BRIT Awards are one of the biggest and most important global music events, and we are determined that they will always remain current, inclusive and relevant as a celebration of the past year’s successes, whilst also reflecting the depth and breadth of British music talent.
With that in mind we wanted to take this opportunity to share the background to the voting process this year.
As part of our annual review of the awards, two years ago we introduced the Artist of the Year (AOTY) category, following extensive industry consultation, and informed by the belief that it was time to progress to judging artists solely on the quality and popularity of their work, rather than on who they are, or how they choose to identify.
We are delighted to see Wet Leg co-lead this year’s nominations with four nods; all women nominations for the BRITs Rising Star award; and 42% of nominations overall made up by women or groups featuring women artists. Notwithstanding this, we acknowledge and share in the disappointment that, unlike last year, no women are represented in the AOTY shortlist. There may be a number of reasons for this, but a key factor is that, unfortunately, there were relatively few commercially successful releases by women in 2022 compared to those by men, which means that, of the 71 eligible artists on the longlist, only 12 (17%) are women. We recognise this points to wider issues around the representation of women in music that must also be addressed.
The ‘longlists’ of eligible artists for a BRIT award are determined by criteria based on success in the UK Official Album and Single Charts (which since 2015 has included streaming data) in the 12 month qualifying period, rather than by selection or curation. For AOTY, the criteria required artists to have achieved either a Top 40 album or two Top 20 singles.
The members of the BRITs Voting Academy then vote, independently, from these longlists of eligible artists.
We refresh our BRITs Voting Academy annually. The Academy is made up of around 1,200 music industry experts, and this year 52% of those who voted identified as women, and 31% were members who are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic. Sectors represented included artists, producers, record labels, publishers, managers, retailers, live promoters and media. The whole process is independently scrutinised by Civica Election Services.
We believe that any changes made to Award categories should be carefully evaluated over time. Last year Adele was voted the inaugural AOTY, and women triumphed in 10 out of the 15 categories, reflecting a particularly strong year in 2021 for new releases by women, and we can expect a different list of eligible artists again next year and in the future.
We recognise that it is important to review each year’s voting processes and categories, including those most recently introduced such as the genre awards, including the Pop/R&B category, which has also prompted some debate, so that they remain fit for purpose in promoting the inclusivity and representation that we all want to see. We are wholeheartedly committed to a considered review of the categories over the immediate months following this year’s event, and this will include industry consultation and discussion, in line with what we instigated over the past five years, with any conclusions and actions made ahead of the 2024 event.
YolanDa Brown OBE DL, BPI Chair and BRITs Committee member and Damian Christian, Chair of the 2023 BRITs Committee