Brit Awards bosses have apparently scrapped plans to go gender-neutral and do away with the Best Male and Best Female categories.

The categories were reportedly under review after pop star Sam Smith was nominated twice for British Male Solo Artist, however, they identify as non-binary.

Now a source told the Mirror: “For 2021, there are no changes to the gender categories.

“The Brits are committed to evolving the show and it’s still something that’s very much under discussion. There’s no timeline in place, but there is still a possibility of change in later years.”

Controversial TV host Piers Morgan was one person who spoke out against the move. He previously said female artists would lose recognition in a male-dominated industry if the prizes became mixed-gender contests.

Last year, singer Mabel was the only female artist among 25 nominees in mixed-gender categories.

The British Group nominees were all male too. Winners Foals said onstage in their speech: “Hopefully next year we’ll see some more women in this category.”

In the British Album of the Year category it was all-male performers too.

The comments from Foals weren’t the first time it was mentioned. Paloma Faith won British Female Solo Artist in 2015, then went on to highlight the lack of female recognition at the 2018 Brits.

The Brits source adds: “If you take away gendered awards you risk not giving a platform to female artists.

“Any change made to be more inclusive needs to be just that,” the source went on.

“If that change ultimately leads to less inclusion, or a less diverse shortlist, it risks being counter-productive.”

The Weeknd

Meanwhile, The Weeknd has revealed he is boycotting the Grammy awards from now on.

Also known as Abel Tesfaye, he played at the Superbowl half time show this year.

He has now has pledged a permanent boycott, and is alleging corruption within its nomination process.

He told the New York Times: “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”

The committees are selected by the Recording Academy to review the nominations they receive.

These committees have the ultimate say over who makes the official shortlists. They can even add artists who receive no nominations in all but the four main categories.

The Weeknd’s song, ‘Blinding Lights’ was the biggest tune of 2020. He then had a double-platinum album with ‘After Hours’. However,  Tesfaye received no nominations for this year’s awards.

“The Grammys remain corrupt,” he tweeted in November. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency …”

Grammys interim president Harvey Mason Jr told the New York Times: “We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset. But I will say that we are constantly evolving. And this year, as in past years, we are going to take a hard look at how to improve our awards process, including the nomination review committees.”

Is this surprising?

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