Words by: Brandon Simmons
British singer/songwriter Mahalia has been fed up with the BRIT Awards committee. This past Sunday, at the BRIT Awards, the “What You Did” singer showed up in a Burberry jacket with the words “Long Live R&B” on the back in bold black letters. Mahalia made it clear that she loves R&B.
“It’s a genre I feel very passionate about and I don’t think it’s talked about enough.”
She also adds that people feel UK R&B artists won’t be successful.
“There’s an idea that American R&B artists can be commercially successful, and we can’t. That conversation needs to become more positive. I just think it would be really powerful for R&B artists to have their own moment to shine.”
Mahalia, along with other British R&B acts, has voiced their disappointment with the BRIT Awards in the past regarding recognizing the thriving R&B scene. The BRIT Awards combine pop and R&B artists for Best Pop/R&B act. This year, Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, Cat Burns, and Sam Smith were all nominated for Best Pop/R&B show. Unfortunately, none of these acts are considered R&B; they are all pop artists.
After seeing the nominations, Mahalia took to Twitter to urge the BRIT Awards committee to give R&B its category. Other R&B singers, such as MNEK and Tiana Major9, have also spoken out against the nominations. This is only the second year the BRIT Awards have had the Best Pop/R&B act after making changes to their format.
In their plan to evolve with the music industry, the committee decided to eliminate gender-based categories and add more categories. Instead of Male and Female Artist of the Year, the BRITs award an Artist of the Year and an International Artist of the Year. Along with the Best Pop/R&B act, the awards ceremony now includes Best Alternative/Rock Act, Dance Act, and Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap Act.
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