2016's ceremony was met with the #BritsSoWhite hashtag
The BRIT awards nominations were announced in full last night (January 14). with Skepta and David Bowie leading the nominees.
Set to take place on February 22, this year’s awards – which will be its 37th edition – will again be held at The O2 in London, but will see a new host in Canadian singer Michael Bublé. Live performances on the night will come from The 1975, Emeli Sandé and Little Mix, with more live acts set to be announced in due course.
This year’s BRIT Award nominees have praised the marked improvement in diversity.
Last year’s BRIT Awards came under fire for the lack of diversity in the nominees. In 2016, of the 48 artists nominated only 4 were from ethnic minorities, prompting many artists to speak out and the hashtag #BritsSoWhite to start trending on Twitter.
Identifying the need for change, this year the BRIT Voting Academy was diversified, with this year’s voters consisting of 52% men and 48% women, while 17% are BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).
Speaking to Newsbeat, Michael Kiwanuka said; “This is a dream come true and the increase in diversity is a great thing. The importance of diversity is that’s what music is. It shows you another view point of how you think in your head and it makes you see the world differently.
“It’s not just about the colour of your skin, but it’s part of it,” he added. Nao, who’s nominated for British Female Solo Artist, said: “The one thing about Britain is how amazingly diverse it is. We are all in this melting pot together.”
She added: “Music is made by everyone and it’s for everyone. Put all of us on the stage, black, white, fat, skinny, whatever.”
“I’m really excited about the other people in the category. There have been some big albums from people this year, for example Skepta has had an incredible year,” British Male Solo Artist nominee Craig David added.
Meanwhile, Laura Mvula has responded to being snubbed by this year’s BRIT Awards, saying that she is “genuinely hurt” to have missed out on a nomination.
Mvula released her second album, ‘The Dreaming Room’, in June 2016, which would have qualified her to be nominated – the album was included on the shortlist for the Mercury Prize last year.