BRIT Awards bosses have reportedly put plans to introduce gender-neutral categories at the 2021 prizegiving on hold.
Calls to scrap the Best Male and Best Female categories increased after singer Sam Smith, 28, twice nominated for British Male Solo Artist, said they identified as non-binary.
While it was previously believed the BRITs could follow in the footsteps of the Grammys, which removed the distinction in 2012, a source tells the Daily Mirror newspaper that, “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," they explain. "There’s no timeline in place, but there is still a possibility of change in later years.”
At the 2020 ceremony, singer Mabel was the only female artist among 25 nominees in the mixed-gender categories. The British Group nominees were also all men, prompting winners Foals to say on stage: “Hopefully next year we’ll see some more women in this category.”
Last year also saw an all-male British Album of the Year category, however, 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," they insist. “If that change ultimately leads to less inclusion, or a less diverse shortlist, it risks being counter-productive.”
The 2021 BRIT Awards are due to take place on 11 May.