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Sam Smith looks ahead as Brit Awards keep gendered categories: ‘Celebrate everybody’

Sam Smith posing in a light blue suit
Sam Smith attends the 2019 Brit Awards in London.
(Joel C. Ryan / Invision/Associated Press)


Three-time Brit Award winner Sam Smith released a hopeful statement Friday morning amid reports that the major U.K. awards show has opted to move forward with gendered categories this year. The Brits have reportedly considered shifting to non-gendered categories in the past to be more inclusive of nonbinary artists like Smith.

“The Brits have been an important part of my career, one of my earliest achievements was winning Critics Choice in 2014,” Smith shared on social media. “Music for me has always been about unification not division. I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in. Let’s celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.”

Smith’s remarks come a day after British tabloid the Sun reported that the Brits would adhere to a male-female binary when doling out nominations for this year’s ceremony, scheduled for May 11. Among the top categories at the Brits are British male solo artist and British female solo artist. There are also distinctions for international male solo artist and international female solo artist.

In 2019, Smith came forward as nonbinary and announced their pronouns are they and them. They have been nominated in the past for a number of Brit Awards, clinching their first win in 2014 for the breakout single “Latch” in collaboration with electronic duo Disclosure. The “Stay With Me” artist has also nabbed Brits for global success and British breakthrough act.

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“I am not male or female. I think I float somewhere in between,” Smith said in 2019. “I’ve always been very free in terms of thinking about sexuality, so I’ve just tried to change that into my thoughts on gender as well.”

Sam Smith declared Friday that “they” and “them” are the correct pronouns to use when referring to the singer.

Smith’s latest album, “Love Goes,” debuted in October 2020 and is eligible for the Brit Awards this year. Before nominations are revealed for 2021, organizers behind the Brits will touch base with Smith’s team to determine which prize brackets they would prefer to be considered for, as reported by the Sun.

According to the Guardian, the voting academy behind the Brit Awards put out a statement Friday appearing to address the controversy surrounding its decision to continue including prizes based on gender.

“Looking to the future we still have a lot of work to do in the coming years to evolve the Brits,” read the statement obtained by the Guardian. “The process of change isn’t something that can be fixed in just one campaign and we are committed to working together with the industry to evolve the show to be as inclusive and relevant as possible.”


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