Brit Awards bosses have promised a shake up of their nominating process, following criticism that black British stars were overlooked in 2016.
Organisers have come under heavy scrutiny since it was revealed that not a single black musician had been selected for major prizes within the U.K. categories in January (16). Some artists, such as Laura Mvula, have decided not to attend Wednesday's (24Feb16) ceremony in London in protest, and BRIT organisers have now indicated that they will appoint a new advisory committee to ensure all British artists are treated equally.
"Given the rapidly changing landscape of music consumption, it may now be time to take a fresh look at the metrics around the Brit Awards to ensure they reflect the full range of engagement with recorded music," a statement issued to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper read.
"The BRITs organisers are, therefore, and with the guidance of a new advisory committee comprising respected members of the BAME music community, exploring a number of initiatives that will enable the event to more effectively acknowledge diverse, breaking and established talent in future, including exciting genres, such as Grime, which aren't always considered mainstream but are growing in popularity."
Organisers also indicated that their Academy, which is responsible for selecting awards nominees, would be surveyed in order to ensure it was more representative of the U.K. population.
In particular, the controversy has centred on the lack of British rappers from the grime genre on the nominations list, with many of the scene’s biggest acts expressing disappointment that its increasing popularity in the U.K. charts had gone unrecognised.
"It was such a great year for grime and underground music," top grime star Stormzy told Britain's NME magazine. "I thought maybe this year it might get celebrated.
“You know when you’ve got that little bit of hope and that little bit of faith and then they didn’t. It’s just a matter of breaking the doors down and carrying on.”