Brit Awards 2023: Nominees and Controversies

5 mins read

The 2023 Brit Awards are to broadcast live on BBC 1 at 8pm tonight from London’s O2 Arena. Hosted by stand-up comedian Mo Gilligan, the awards ceremony will celebrate Britain’s best and brightest musicians from over the past year.

With artists like Lizzo, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi and Sam Smith scheduled for the show’s star-studded performance lineup, this year’s Brits will be a must-watch for music lovers.

Heavy-hitting names to watch out for at this year’s Brit awards include: Harry Styles, whose third album Harry’s House won album of the year at last week’s Grammy Awards; Wet Leg, whose indie rock hits Wet Dream and Chaise Longue sent their Spotify streams soaring earlier this year; and The 1975, who are currently touring with their latest album Being Funny in a Modern Language.

Wet Leg perform last year on James Corden’s show. Image Credit: Lorne Thomson

Nominated for this year’s big award, Artist of the Year, are: hip-hop act Central Cee; former One Direction frontman Harry Styles; Boiler Room favourite Fred Again; folk-pop sensation George Ezra; and UK rap titan Stormzy.

The Brit Awards also remain a fantastic platform to debut up-and-coming British talent through their Rising Star award. Previous recipients of the award include record-breaking musicians like Adele, Sam Smith, and last year’s winner Holly Humberstone.

Despite the awards being held tonight, R&B girl group Flo have already been announced as the winners of the award. The trio, who only released their debut single Cardboard Box last year, took to Twitter to celebrate with a heartwarming video.

Flo celebrate their big win in their dressing room. Via: @flolikethis Twitter

The Brits made the move towards a gender-neutral nomination process last year after non-binary artist Sam Smith was excluded from 2021’s best British male and female categories for not fitting into either. On their website, the Brits wrote that this move to remove gendered categories was about “celebrating artists solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify”.

In light of these changes, last year’s Brit awards also saw additional categories added to the show’s already-packed roster. Genre-specific awards were given out to shed light on styles of music outwith the realm of mainstream pop, including dance, grime and alternative rock.

This year, artists nominated for these categories include grime acts Central Cee and Dave; as well as Becky Hill and Fred Again, whose album Actual Life 3 was packed with house hits that had us all dancing last year.

Fred Again performs at Electric Picnic Festival 2022. Image Credit: Kieran Frost.

This year’s ceremony is not without its controversies, however. The Brits, and the academy, have been called into question over their lack of female representation in the main category Best Artist, which for the first time in Brits history is exclusively male. In a year that saw female artists like Charli XCX, Florence and the Machine and Rina Sawyama release some of their very best material, this oversight is made even bleaker.

Despite this, a Brit awards spokesperson argued to The Huffington Post that the negligence of female talent was simply down to a lack of music being made by women. In a statement, they said that “we also have to recognise that 2022 saw fewer high profile women artists in cycle with major releases as was the case for 2021,”.

Florence and the Machine released her new album Dance Fever in May last year. Image Credit: Autumn De Wilde

Eager viewers can expect even more controversy and celebrity antics at tonight’s ceremony, as well as spectacular performances from the country’s most promising musicians.

Featured Image Credit: Brit Awards Website

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Student journalist who loves good music and cheesy reality television.

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