Charli XCX speaks out about sexism in the music industry at the BRITs 2023

Artists weighed in on the long debate over sexism in the music industry

Charli XCX
(Image credit: Jo Hale / Getty)

Over the years there's been widespread debate about the lack of diversity when it comes to awards season, whether it is music ceremonies, or film awards. 

The conversation was ignited once again at the BRIT Awards 2023, with some acts believing there was a lack of female acts nominated at the annual bash. 

Charli XCX was one of the nominees in the Best Pop/R&B Act at the BRITs, which was won by Harry Styles.  

However, the Boys hitmaker has hinted she should have been included in other categories too. 

Speaking to BBC's music correspondent, Mark Savage, in a clip which has been shared on his Twitter account, the 30-year-old singer said: "I've heard a lot of chat about the fact there wasn't enough females in album cycle, and that's why noone was nominate. 

“But I was in album cycle and had a number one, critically acclaimed album. There's many of us.  

"We’re doing everything right, I don’t think it’s our fault.  I think it’s theirs."

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Charli XCX is not the only one who thinks this, as the Nova Twins, and Rina Sawayama also spoke out about the lack of female and diverse representation at the ceremony, which was held at London's The O2 on 11 February. 

Sawayama - who was nominated in the Best New Artist category - told PA news: “At the top it is straight white men. It is. So the more you have of that, the more you are going to get amplified voices that are that.

“It is just something that we really need to work on because artists are diverse. There is a lot of diversity in artists but there is not enough diversity in record labels.”

Nova Twins - who were nominated in two categories, including the Group of the Year and Best Rock/Alternative Act - echoed the same sentiment. 

Amy Love, from the rock duo, said: "It is putting them as headliners at festivals. Women, especially bands, you don’t see them headlining festivals. They always regurgitate the same male acts.

"Again, awards – putting more women to the forefront. Little Simz could have been in the best artist category. I think you just have to lift each other up and really be aware of our decisions and our choices.

“But it is not an even playing field just yet. The conversation is being had and it is still going and things are improving, which is really, really great. But obviously we can always do a lot better still. We should keep moving forward.”

Shania Twain also believes more should be done in the music industry, and society more broadly. 

The music icon said: "I think change if done with the right intentions is progress, so I am all for that.

"But I am a very inclusive person. I am always just cheering for the talent – the best talent."

Award-winning artist Sam Smith, who performed on stage with Kim Petras to belt out their hit Unholy - also believes there is "still a long way to go", as the singer-songwriter is championing genderless categories at awards shows. 

Maisie Bovingdon

Maisie is a writer and editor, covering Royal News, Showbiz, Lifestyle content, as well as Shopping Writing and E-Commerce, for print and digital publications, including Marie Claire, Hello!, Fabulous, Mail Online and Yahoo!.