BRIT Awards remove gendered awards for 2022, announce Mo Gilligan as host

Mo Gilligan is set to host the 2022 BRIT Awards as a host of new changes for next year’s ceremony have been announced, including the removal of Male and Female categories.

As revealed back in September, next year’s awards will take place on February 8 at The O2 in London and will be broadcast live on ITV.

Gilligan will replace Jack Whitehall as host of the show, who announced recently that he was stepping down from the role after four consecutive years.

“It’s an absolute privilege to host the 2022 BRIT Awards,” Gilligan said in a statement. “I’m truly honoured to be asked. We’re already in the extensive planning stages and all I can say is, I promise we’re going to give it all we’ve got to create an incredible night for music fans everywhere. Let’s go!”

Clara Amfo and Maya Jama are set to present the ‘The BRITs Are Coming’ nominations show and the BRITs Red Carpet show on the night.

Elsewhere, Glastonbury’s Block9 are set to handle the show’s creative direction with an all-new design.

taylor swift
Taylor Swift accepts the Global Icon award at The BRIT Awards 2021 at The O2 Arena on May 11, 2021 in London, England. (Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Elsewhere, four new genre categories – Alternative/Rock Act, Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap Act, Dance Act and Pop/R’n’B Act – have been added, with Artist of the Year and International Artist of the Year awards replacing the traditional Male and Female categories from previous years.

BRIT Chair Tom March commented: “It is important that The BRITs continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible. It feels completely the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for the music that they create, and the work that they do, irrespective of gender.

“I’m really excited to launch four new genre awards, which create even more opportunities for artists to be acknowledged for the brilliant music they create and produce, and give music fans the chance to get involved and vote to support their artists and help them to win a BRIT.”

Back in 2019, it was reported that the BRITs were planning to scrap their gender categories in a bid to include non-binary artists. The awards ceremony, which occurs every February, was reportedly keen to “evolve” and axe the categories in a bid to change with the music industry.

The BRIT Awards then responded after non-binary singer Sam Smith spoke out about their plans to keep gender-based categories for the 2021 ceremony.

“Music for me has always been about unification not division,” Smith said. “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.”

See the full list of categories for the 2022 BRIT Awards below:

Artist of the Year with YouTube Music
Group of the Year
BRITs Rising Star supported by BBC Radio 1
Best New Artist
Song of the Year with Mastercard
Mastercard Album of the Year
International Artist of the Year
International Group of the Year
Alternative/Rock Act
Pop/R&B Act
Dance Act
Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act

This year’s BRIT Awards saw standout performances from Taylor Swift, Elton John, The Weeknd, Coldplay and Dua Lipa at one of the first live music events in the UK following the global pandemic.

Zero COVID-19 cases emerged from the event, which was held as part of the government’s Events Research Programme as live music slowly made its return this year.

This year’s ceremony featured a live audience of 4000 fans – largely made up of NHS and key workers – who were not required to wear masks or social distance, having provided a negative coronavirus test beforehand.

Reviewing this year’s event, NME said: “While partly proving the celebratory blowout that everyone in attendance deserved, the 2021 BRITs also carries an air of determination to not stop the fight here and work harder to bring justice for those that made a night like this possible in the first place.”