The Brit Awards aimed to celebrate diversity last night (22 February) with a more inclusive nominations list and performance line-up. It was certainly an improvement on the previous year with Emeli Sande winning British female solo artist and the likes of Stormzy, Skepta and Bruno Mars delivering momentous performances.
Although, not everyone was appeased as many are still unconvinced that the Brits 2017 did enough to represent all genres. Skepta, 34, was nominated in the British male solo artist and British album of the year categories but lost out to the late David Bowie in both instances. The Boy Better Know star was also recognised in the British breakthrough act category alongside Stormzy but they bowed to soul singer Rag'N'Bone Man.
Addressing the diversity issue, one tweeted: "Despite the supposed overhaul of the panel, The Brits still immensely lacked diversity tbh," while another said: "I woke up annoyed about the Brits & their 'diversity'. The grime artists wont mind cos theyre excited to be nominated for the first time ever."
Another critic simply stated: "Token 2017 diversity effort." However, others appreciated the Brits' inclusive efforts, with one arguing: "My only issue with The Brits last year was the lack of diversity. They added a touch this year so I'm not complaining," while another quipped: "Was worth watching the #brits jus to see #STORMZY glad too see some diversity hopefully the @metpoliceuk won't kick your door off tonight."
Shortly before the Brits took place at London's O2 Arena, Stormzy said that while he was happy the lack of diversity was now a conversation, he would rather win based on his talents. The Shut Up rapper said: "It could've gone in a weird way of, OK, we haven't supported grime and black music, so let's just go crazy and nominate everyone, and I was thinking that's wrong if someone doesn't deserve an award.
"Last year, it was debatable, last year I probably would have been eligible for best breakthrough, and I would have said cool, there might have been one or two people I felt like my weight could have stood next too."
Perhaps echoing the sentiments of those sceptical about the Brits' diversity efforts, Keith Harris, head of UK Music Diversity Taskforce, questioned its longevity, telling the Press Association: "People feel there might actually be a breakthrough. The question is whether this is going to be long term or short term. That's my concern."