BRITs criticised for not including any R&B artists in Best Pop/R&B Act category

The BRIT Awards 2022 has been criticised by a number of artists, music industry insiders and fans for not including any R&B artists in its Best Pop/R&B Act category.

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Last month, four new genre categories were introduced to the annual award show: Alternative/Rock Act, Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap Act, Dance Act and Pop/R&B Act.

After news of the new categories was announced, it was heavily criticised by artists, music experts and fans on social media, many of whom wondered why R&B was being merged with pop.

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“Putting pop and R&B in the same category is really nuts to me. And proves that the powers that be once again just do not get it,” R&B singer-songwriter Mahalia tweeted. “I love the Brits. I have since I was a kid. But as an R&B singer/songwriter, this feels completely unprogressive to the whole UK R&B scene.”

The nominees for next year’s BRITs were announced on Sunday (December 18). Ed Sheeran, Adele, Dua Lipa, Griff and Joy Crookes lead the nominations in the Pop/R&B category, which has confused a number of people.

“So the BRIT nominations have come through and something is a little bit strange, or curious  about the category there,” R&B singer-songwriter Sinéad Harnett said in a video shared to Twitter.

She prefaced the next part of her video by explaining that she “absolutely adore[s] each and every one of” the artists in the category. “They are fucking amazing,” she said. “But I have two questions: The first one is why merge pop with R&B? And the second is, if you’re gonna do that please at least include some R&B acts within the category.”

BRITs voting panel member Joseph “JP” Patterson added: “Glad to be on the voting panel this year — best it’s looked in a minute! But this category needs rethinking. No one here makes R&B.”

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“I’m sorry but Dua Lipa , Ed and Adele don’t make R&B music , who’s idea was it to put these two genres in one category ?” one fan wrote. Another said: “I’m really not understanding why the BRITs decided to group pop and R&B into one category this year. Aside from ZERO U.K. R&B artists being nominated, what chance would any of them have alongside Adele and Ed Sheeran?”

A third said: “#boycottbrits because what on earth were they thinking. First they merge together pop and R&B into one category, and now the people who are nominated for that category are all Pop artists. @BRITs you could have at least added one UK RnB artist in there.”

 

You can see more reactions below:

Next year’s BRIT Awards will take place on February 8 at The O2 in London and will be broadcast live on ITV. It will be hosted by Mo Gilligan.

Gilligan will replace Jack Whitehall as host of the show, who announced recently that he was stepping down from the role after four consecutive years.

Meanwhile, Holly Humberstone has been announced as the winner of this year’s BRITs Rising Star Award, after fending off competition from Bree Runway and Lola Young.