The Brits are ‘not so white’ in 2017

Acts including Craig David, Michael Kiwanuka and Nao have told Newsbeat an increase in diversity at this year’s Brit Awards is “a great thing”.

Skepta is up against Kano, Craig David, Michael Kiwanuka and David Bowie for best male.

While Lianne La Havas is nominated alongside Emeli Sande, Ellie Goulding, Anohni and Nao for best female.

Compare that to the controversy of 2016, where white acts dominated the awards.

Out of 48 nominations for British artists, only four musicians were from ethnic minorities.

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It led to #BritsSoWhite trending on Twitter and many stars openly criticising the event.

Laura Mvula even threatened to boycott it.

Laura Mvula

She told the BBC: “I guess the problem for me is knowing that there are young black kids growing up feeling that they’re not acknowledged in society, in media and in mainstream music.”

Months later organisers announced a shake-up, where more people from ethnic minorities were put on the panel.

Now Skepta, who previously called the Brits “embarrassing” for its lack of diversity, is leading the nominations with Little Mix.

Other major nominees have told us they are glad an imbalance appears to have been addressed.

Michael Kiwanuka – Best male and best album

Michael Kiwanuka

“This is a dream come true and the increase in diversity is a great thing.

“The importance of diversity is that’s what music is. It shows you another view point of how you think in your head and it makes you see the world differently.

“It’s not just about the colour of your skin, but it’s part of it.”

Nao – Best British female


“I didn’t think I would be nominated, if I did I thought it would be for Best Newcomer. It’s very surreal.

“The one thing about Britain is how amazingly diverse it is. We are all in this melting pot together.

“Music is made by everyone and it’s for everyone. Put all of us on the stage, black, white, fat, skinny, whatever.”

Craig David – British Male Solo Artist

Craig David

“It’s been an honour to be nominated so many times over the years, but to enter 2017 and hit the ground running, it is amazing.

“I’m really excited about the other people in the category. There have been some big albums from people this year, for example Skepta has had an incredible year.

“There are other artists, we could say Olly Murs, we could say Kano, we could says Stormzy. That’s who I want to see in the mix.”

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