Controversy at the 2023 Brit Awards

Megan McKay, staff writer

Following a quick turnaround from the Grammy’s, the 43rd Brit Awards took place in London.The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) presented the ceremony, which was held on Saturday, Feb. 11, to recognize the best in British and international music.This year’s Brit Awards drew the biggest audience in three years, with 3.9 million viewers watching the show.The show was televised on ITV and was reported to have had a million more viewers than last year’s ceremony.
This year the show was held on a weekend for the first time, with a positive turnout.The show even had a 53% audience share of 16-34-yearolds almost doubled since the prior year. This is a tremendous accomplishment for the U.K.’s biggest award show, as it has begun to found traction.Harry Styles, Stormzy and
Sam Smith & Kim Petras were among the group of artists who featured live performances.Ahead of the awards, Harry Styles and Wet Leg were the most-nominated artists, with four each.To nobody’s surprise, Styles emerged as the night’s big winner, winning in all four categories he was nominated for, with
Wet Leg and Beyoncé also winning multiple awards.The winners were decided via public vote for the genres,music professionals for the rising star award, and the British Committee for the remaining honorary.The most significant mention of the night was for British Album of the Year, Song of
the Year, and Artist of the Year,which all went to Harry Styles.Styles also took home Best Pop Act of the Year. Styles’ triumph continued throughout
the night as he performed the song of the year, “As It Was.”After the show, Styles commented, “I feel so lucky to go around the world and play music, representing Britain, and to come back and have tonight be so special feels nice. I will remember these times for the rest of my life, so thank you so
much!”Styles even took to the stage to dedicate his award victory to all the female artists who had not been nominated. There has been controversy over the lack of female artists, as none were nominated for Artist of the Year.Unfortunately, many high-profile female artists have not had significant releases recently. Other winners of the night included Wet Leg, who won Group of the Year and New Artist. Becky Hill won best Dance Act and Beyoncé won International Artist, which is significant in her recent return to the music industry. Artist Flo won the Rising Star award, which is a great honor for incoming singers.Styles was not the only
show-stopping performer as Wet Leg took the stage with “Chaise Lounge,” Lewis Capaldi sang “Forever Me,” followed by Lizzo and Sam Smith.However, more controversy was sparked from a certain performance. After the show, the Office of Communications received hundreds of complaints,specifically about Kim Petras and Sam Smith. The duo received complaints related to Smith’s performance of “Unholy.”It is not exactly clear what sparked the mass of complaints,
but Smith used offensive language during the ceremony,and there was excessive alcohol consumed at the event, which makes sense due to the vast amount of younger fans watching. Despite criticism, Smith and Petras recently won the Grammy Award for pop duo/group performance, making Petras the first transgender woman to win
an award in that category