Harry Styles dedicates Brit Award win to eligible female artists

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Harry Styles has been praised for using his Brit Awards acceptance speech to acknowledge his ‘privilege’ and namecheck the female artists who were absent from the best artist category this year.

The singer, 29, dominated the awards on Saturday night, winning all four gongs he was nominated for, including best artist, best song for As It Was, best album for Harry’s House and best pop/R&B act.

The event had faced criticism this year, its second with gender-neutral categories, after the best artist list featured only male artists – Central Cee, Fred Again, George Ezra, Stormzy and Harry.

This was despite an increase in female artists or all-women groups across the board.

In an apparent reference to the online backlash to comments he made at the Grammys last weekend Harry said that he was ‘very aware of my privilege up here tonight’ while collecting the prize.

The Sign of the Times chart-topper then namechecked Charli XCX, Rina Sawayama, Mabel, Florence + The Machine and Becky Hill, dedicating the award to the female acts eligible for the artist of the year category, who were not shortlisted.

Harry dominated the evening with four wins (Picture: David Fisher/Shutterstock)
He also opened the show with a live rendition of As It Was, which went on to win best song of the year (Picture: Ben Stansall / AFP)

‘Such a class human. Loved how he gave female artists, who should have been nominated, in best act category a mention,’ tweeted one viewer.

Another commented: ‘Fair play to Harry that this was a dig at the #BRITS for not nominating any women in the category.’

‘Now that’s what I’m talking about! Using your platform to help others!’ added another fan.

The praise continued as one viewer shared: ‘I loved that he dedicated the award to the female artists who were snubbed in this category and others despite having released fantastic albums last year.’

During his acceptance speech for best artist of the year, the singer dedicated the gong to female singers who could have been nominated but didn’t make the all-male nominee list (Picture: David M. Benett/Max Cisotti/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Becky Hill was snubbed for artist of the year, but won dance act for the second time (Picture: Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Rina Sawayama was another singer Harry shouted out (Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

While accepting the Grammy for best album last Sunday, Harry had said on-stage: ‘This doesn’t happen to people like me very often’ prompting some to comment that artists from diverse backgrounds such as Beyonce have faced more obstacles to success.

He also thanked his family and his former One Direction bandmates at the Brits, saying: ‘I wouldn’t be here without you.’

Claiming his fourth and final gong of the night, he added: ‘Thanks for the welcome home…I’m so proud to be a British artist.’

Brit Awards 2023: Full winners list

Hip hop/grime/rap act


International artist


Dance act

Becky Hill

Pop/R&B act

Harry Styles

Best new artist

Wet Leg

Artist of the year

Harry Styles

International group

Fontaines D.C.

Group of the year

Wet Leg

International song of the year

Beyoncé, Break My Soul

Alternative/rock act

The 1975

Song of the year

Harry Styles, As It Was

Producer of the year

David Guetta

Album of the year

Harry Styles, Harry’s House

The last time an act secured four Brits in one year was 2016 when Adele swept away the competition following the release of her album 25.

Indie rockers Wet Leg also followed up on their success at the Grammys last week, where they won two prizes, by claiming the gongs for best new artist and best group.

The Isle of Wight-formed band, comprised of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, are due to head out on tour as Harry’s opening act in the coming months.

Beyonce also won two Brits – best international artist and best international song for her dancefloor focussed anthem Break My Soul.

The pop superstar was not present but in a video message said: ‘Thank you so much for this incredible recognition’ before thanking her British fans and adding: ‘The renaissance begins!’

This year, four genre categories were decided by the public via a vote on TikTok – alternative rock act, hip hop/rap/grime act, dance act and pop/R&B act.

Harry claimed best pop/R&B act while alternative rock act went to The 1975 and Manchester rapper Aitch claimed the prize for hip hop/rap/grime act.

Aitch thanked the fans for voting, his team and his record label and added ‘not many’ people from where he is from in the city win awards.

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