Stormzy gives a masterclass in calling out the music industry’s problem with women

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Hollie Richardson
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Brits 2020: Stormzy

Stormzy used his platform to shout out the incredible work of women in the music industry at the Brits 2020.

At last night’s Brit Awards (18 Feb 2020), Billie Eilish performed the epic new Bond track, Lizzo empowered pretty much everybody and Celeste won the Rising Star award.

With such incredible female talent in the room, it only further prompted the question: why aren’t women in music being given the recognition and awards that they deserve?

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To recap: no women were nominated for Group Of The Year or Best Album. Across the 25 nomination slots for the awards’ four mixed-gender categories, only one woman, Mabel, and two songs featuring or made in collaboration with a woman, were nominated – men won in all these categories.

But the attendees of the night weren’t going to let this issue quietly slip by.

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When accepting the award for Best Male, Stormzy made sure he shouted out the women behind his award-winning team.

“Thank you to my mum, my incredible Merky team over there, all those people there,” he said, looking over to his table in the crowd.

“To be the ‘best male’, I’ve got the most incredible females on my team,” he continued, before calling out all their names.

“The ‘best male’ is nothing without these incredible females,” he finished.

Later on the red carpet, Stormzy also praised International Female Solo Artist Billie Eilish for her work.

“You are a fucking brain,” he told her.

“Every time I listen to a new song of yours, I go on A-Z lyrics and I read it. And I’m just like she’s got a brilliant pen, brilliant…” he continued, before singing her lyrics to her.

He then gave an iconic performance, which ended with a huge chorus of men and women of colour.

And Stormzy wasn’t the only person to address the night’s sexism issue.

Kiefer Sutherland and Paloma Faith at the Brit Awards 2020
Kiefer Sutherland and Paloma Faith present at the Brit Awards 2020.

Following Mabel’s Female Artist win, host Jack Whitehall said: “The Brits have been recycling the same excuses as to why so few female artists were nominated – but in this category they couldn’t avoid it!”

And, before the nominees for the International Male Solo Artist were announced, Paloma said: “We’re here to announce a very, very underrepresented group tonight, the men.”

Perhaps this will be a wake-up call for next year’s awards? Congratulations to all the night’s winners – male and female.

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Images: Getty


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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