Stormzy has been added to the line-up for this year’s Brit Awards, organisers have announced.
One of the biggest British stars of recent years, all of his three albums have all been chart-toppers, and in 2019 he became the first black British solo artist to headline Glastonbury.
The announcement of Stormzy’s performance this year follows controversy around the nominations, with an all-male best artist of the year list leading to questions being raised about the newly introduced gender-neutral categories.
Stormzy is up for the award alongside Styles, George Ezra, Central Cee and Fred Again.
Defending the nomination choices, the awards said that while the lack of female nominees was “disappointing”, it was down to 2022 seeing “fewer high-profile women artists in cycle with major releases” than in 2021.
Why were the male and female artist categories scrapped?
Organisers reportedly plan to evaluate their decision to adopt gender-neutral prizes as part of their annual review after the upcoming ceremony, which takes place on a Saturday for the first time this year, on 11 February.
The Brits announced that male and female award categories would be scrapped ahead of the 2022 ceremony, going gender-neutral in an attempt to make the awards more inclusive.
Adele won the inaugural best artist prize and cleaned up with three awards.
Picking up the best artist award, the star told the crowd that while she understood why the gendered prizes had been dropped, she loved being a female artist and wanted to celebrate women. “I am really proud of us,” she said.
Stormzy last performed at the Brits in 2020, when he also picked up the award for best male artist, before the categories were changed.
With only four nominations out of a possible 25 in mixed categories going to women that year, he paid tribute to the women in his team as he collected his award.
“To be the best male, I have got the most incredible females in my team,” he said. “You lot are the greatest, the best male is nothing without the best females. I love you guys.”
Styles and Isle of Wight indie rock duo Wet Leg lead this year’s Brit Awards race, with four nods each – coming after both were nominated for the 2022 Mercury Prize.
Cat Burns, Fred Again and The 1975, along with Stormzy, are all in the running for three awards, while Central Cee, George Ezra, Arctic Monkeys, Nova Twins, Aitch, Dave, Eliza Rose, Beyonce, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith all have two nods each.
Burns, David Guetta, Becky Hill and Ella Henderson are also due to perform.