James Bay clears up Lily Allen Brit Award comments

'Hold Back The River' star says he "doesn't feel negative" towards Allen

James Bay has clarified comments he made about Lily Allen in retaliation to her statement about The Brit Awards.

Allen recently hit out at the Brits, whose 2016 nominations she said were “blind to black talent” with grime artists like Skepta and Stormzy ignored. She added that votes cast were “tactical” and that “It is the awards ceremony Alan Partridge would approve of.”

Speaking to The Mirror, Bay (who is nominated for Best Male Solo Artist and will perform at the ceremony on Wednesday) disputed the criticism.

NMEAndy Hughes/NME

“I haven’t seen REO Speedwagon in the nominations , so I don’t know if it’s entirely Partridge,” he said. “It’s varied nominations. It’s about music. I don’t know why she’s had to go down that route. I haven’t looked closely into all the nominations but it’s interesting she should bring that up.”

Turning his attention to Allen, Bay added: “I can’t think of her last album, when she last released something.”

Allen later responded to Bay’s statement on Twitter, where she admitted not to hearing about him or his music, adding: “He shares a name with the most standard, basic and least flavorsome herb, which I found both fitting and amusing.”

However, Bay’s representative has since told WENN that he wasn’t trying to dig out Allen with his comments, and that he thinks all genres of music should be celebrated at The Brits.


The statement from the ‘Let It Go’ star added: “Having been out of the country in Australia and America for the past 3 weeks I was unaware of Lily’s comments about the Brits. I fully support and believe the Brits should represent a diverse spectrum of artists and music.

“I don’t feel negative towards Lily or her music at all. I’d simply been unaware of her most recent release and subsequently someone has been over creative with this whole story.”


As well as Bay, the likes of The Weeknd, Little Mix, Jess Glynne, Rihanna, Coldplay, Justin Bieber and Adele will also take to the stage at The Brits on Wednesday (February 24) at The O2 in London.

Click here for a full list of nominations.

Meanwhile, organisers have confirmed that they will be staging a tribute to David Bowie at some point during the ceremony.