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Brit award nominations 2020: where are all the female nominees?

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Lauren Geall
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Mabel McVey

The awards organisation has come under fire for the lack of female nominees in their 2020 line-up.

The 2020 awards season has already proved itself to be a disappointing one when it comes to diversity.

Late last year, the Golden Globes attracted criticism for its failure to shortlist any female directors in the best director category – a repeat of the snub which Natalie Portman expertly criticised in 2018. And when the BAFTA’s nominations were announced earlier this week, the association was rightly criticised for failing to nominate any non-white actors in the lead acting categories.

All in all, it’s safe to say the 2020 awards season hasn’t given us much to celebrate diversity wise – and it seems that trend is set to continue.

Last night, when the nominations for the 2020 Brit awards were announced, there was one particularly glaring absence: that of women. In fact, across the 25 nomination slots for the awards’ four mixed-gender categories, only one British woman, singer-songwriter Mabel, and two songs featuring or made in collaboration with a woman, were nominated. 

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Even in the group category – where 19 individuals made up the five groups nominated – every single nominee was male (it’s also important to mention that all-but-two of those men were white, although the nominations have recognised a greater number of non-white nominees than in previous years).

The line-up, which is, of course, incredibly disappointing, has prompted widespread criticism online, with many people taking to Twitter to share their frustration.

“Where are the women nominated at the Brits… like, did no women make any music this year or something?” singer-songwriter Honeyblood wrote. “Don’t give me your bullshit about nominating the ‘best’ artists. This is a perfect example of a platform who could use their reach to mobilise change.”

“No female nominees for album of the year or best group, one female artist out of 10 for song of the year, and one female artist out of five for best new artist? Disgraceful, @Brits,” added another. 

There are a few additions on the list worthy of celebration: as previously mentioned, singer-songwriter Mabel made the nomination list alongside the mostly male line-up, taking three nominations for best new artist, best song for Don’t Call Me Up, and best female solo artist. British soul singer Celeste was also nominated for – and won – the rising star award, alongside up-and-coming female artists Joy Crookes and Beabadoobee.

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Despite the fact that the Brits failed to recognise it, the UK does, in fact, have some extremely strong female talent. Just take a look at our “You Heard It Here First” series, which shines a light on the female artists you should be listening to.

From Mahalia’s thought provoking and emotionally charged lyrics to the soul-nurturing music of seasoned performer Tawiah, British music is jam-packed with incredible female talent – and it’s about time the Brit awards recognised that.

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Lauren Geall

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