Queen's Brian May Slams Gender Neutral BRIT Awards

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Queen guitarist Brian May has criticized a move by the BRIT Awards to scrap separate male and female categories.

“It’s a decision that has been made without enough thought,” the 74-year-old rock icon told The Sun. “A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone.

“I get so sick of people trying to change things without thinking of the long-term consequences. Some of these things are an improvement, some of them are not.”

May insisted he’s not the only one who is against having a gender-less Artist of the Year category.

“So many people are feeling ‘hang on, this isn’t quite right.’ But they don’t dare say anything,” he claimed. “Eventually there will be some kind of explosion.”

May said it’s “frightening that you have to be so calculating about everything.” He added: “Life doesn’t have to be like that. We can be separate and different.”

The BRIT Awards said this week it is doing away with the Male Solo Artist and Female Solo Artist categories beginning with next year’s show to celebrate artists “solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them, as part of The BRITs’ commitment to evolving the show to be as inclusive and as relevant as possible.”

It means Ed Sheeran and Adele are likely to compete head-to-head at the BRITs on Feb. 8. (It also means an artist like Sam Smith, who identifies as non-binary, can be a contender.)

Canada’s JUNO Awards ditched gendered categories beginning in 2002. Artist of the Year has since been awarded to a female seven times and to a male 13 times (the most recent female winner was Serena Ryder in 2014).

Since the Grammy Awards scrapped separate male and female categories in 2012, winners have been evenly split. At the MTV VMAs, which went genderless in 2017, three females and two males have won Artist of the Year.

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