Artist News Awards

Women dominate BRIT nominations (a bit)

By | Published on Thursday 1 April 2021

BRIT Awards 2021

The nominations for this year’s BRIT Awards are out and they are, by at least one measure, dominated by women.

Three of the four most nominated acts – Arlo Parks, Celeste and Dua Lipa – are women, with Young T & Bugsey bringing up the tally for the blokes. All have three nominations apiece. And in the Best British Album award, one of the big prizes of the night, J Hus is the only guy to be seen.

So that’s a big improvement on 2020, where women were conspicuously absent from the nominations, with none at all in the album category.

Hooray for diversity then! Now, let’s all move on without looking at any of the other categories. OK? Oh, alright then, I suppose we all came here today to review all the categories for BRITs 2021, so we should probably give them all a mention.

It was reported recently, of course, that BRITs organisers had decided against ditching its gendered categories this year. Despite complaints that this left out the growing number of non-binary artists, there were fears that making all award categories mixed-gender would mean that women would get no nominations at all. And the 2020 BRIT shortlists suggested that those fears were well-founded.

But look at the Best British Album category this year! It’s a testament to the fact that the BRITs voting academy is now fully capable of recognising when most of the biggest and best albums of the year come from female artists.

Although what’s going on with the other non-gendered awards? Well, they seem to suggest that women don’t make good singles, aren’t really very good at being in groups, and just don’t tend to be based abroad.

Dua Lipa is one of three women in the Best British Single category – and the only one not billed second in a collaboration with a man – the others being Gracey (with 220 Kid) and Raye (with Regard). In the group categories, Little Mix are the only British women up for a prize, and Haim the only international women.

There are general signs of positive change though. Arlo Parks and Celeste both appear in the Best British Album and Breakthrough Artist categories. And last year Celeste beat two other female contenders to take the Rising Star Award, while this year’s Rising Star shortlist was two thirds female.

So that suggests that there are more female artists coming through who are being properly acknowledged and will begin to feature more widely across any award nominations in the future.

Fingers crossed, anyway. Then maybe we can deal with the ridiculousness of organising awards by gender. And once that’s done, we can focus on other challenges, like does it really make sense to be asking if Biffy Clyro are better than Little Mix? Though once you start asking questions like that, then you might have to ask if it’s really worth giving out awards at all.

Anyway, stop thinking about that, here’s the thrice nominated Arlo Parks with some reassuring words: “To be nominated for three BRIT Awards at 20 years old as an independent artist is something that exceeds my wildest dreams. I genuinely don’t have the words to describe how grateful I am. This year has been difficult to say the least but art has been holding us together in some way and I’m excited to be part of this celebration of British music”.

And here are all the nominations…

Female Solo Artist
Arlo Parks
Dua Lipa
Jessie Ware
Lianne La Havas

Male Solo Artist
AJ Tracey
Headie One
J Hus
Joel Corry

British Group
Biffy Clyro
Little Mix
The 1975
Young T & Bugsey

Breakthrough Artist
Arlo Parks
Joel Corry
Young T & Bugsey

British Single
220 Kid & Gracey – Don’t Need Love
Aitch & AJ Tracey feat Tay Keith – Rain
Dua Lipa – Physical
Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar
Headie One feat AJ Tracey & Stormzy – Ain’t It Different
Joel Corry feat MNEK – Head & Heart
Nathan Dawe feat KSI – Lighter
Regard & Raye – Secrets
S1mba feat DTG – Rover
Young T & Bugsey feat Headie One – Don’t Rush

British Album
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
Celeste – Not Your Muse
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
J Hus – Big Conspiracy
Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?

International Female Solo Artist
Ariana Grande
Billie Eilish
Cardi B
Miley Cyrus
Taylor Swift

International Male Solo Artist
Bruce Springsteen
Burna Boy
Childish Gambino
Tame Impala
The Weeknd

International Group
Fontaines DC
Foo Fighters
Run The Jewels