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Joy Crookes: Not enough women nominated for Brits

joy crookes
Image caption Joy Crookes came fourth on BBC Music's Sound Of 2020 poll

Joy Crookes has said it's "important" for artists to talk openly about a lack of women nominated for this year's Brit Awards.

The singer, who was up for this year's Rising Star award, told Newsbeat it was "fantastic" to be alongside Celeste and Beabadoobee but was disappointed by the some of the other categories.

"We're all women of colour from different backgrounds," she said.

"That's why I was looking forward to seeing nominations."

Image caption The 2020 Brits Rising Star nominees were (L-R) Celeste, Beabadoobee and Joy Crookes. Celeste was named the winner

But when the nominees were announced, many people asked why more women weren't nominated with best album being exclusively male and Mabel being the only woman named in the four categories where both men and women are eligible.

"You take one look at that list to go 'there's not enough women on it'," says Joy.

"It's as simple as that."

Image copyright Twitter/ @joycrookes
Image caption Joy's tweet

Following the announcement, she tweeted about the best album category suggesting Little Simz's Grey Matter should be nominated before asking "are women not allowed to be in this category?".

Joy, who was speaking to Newsbeat at BBC Music's Sound Of 2020 event, explained how some of the members of the 1200-strong Brits voting panel messaged her privately after her tweet to "give me information on how it works".

"They were saying there are people there to make sure diversity is looked at and people of all backgrounds and genders are included in the nominations.

"It just didn't answer my question, though.

"My question was, where are the women in the best album category?"

In a press release announcing the nominees, the Brits explained how the list of artists who qualify for the awards "has been compiled by the Official Charts Company and includes artists who have released product and enjoyed top 40 chart success".

As BBC analysis on the nominees points out, that rule means certain critically-acclaimed acts aren't considered for Brits - Little Simz, for instance, who was nominated for the Mercury Prize last year but didn't crack the Top 40.

The article also suggests organisers could consider factors such as critical acclaim, social media following, and ticket sales when looking at who should be in the running for a nomination.

Image caption Mabel, who is up for three awards, is the most successful female nominee at this year's Brit Awards

There's a more even gender balance among the acts performing at this year's ceremony.

Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel and Stormzy and Rising Star winner Celeste will all play at the event with organisers promising "more music", with artists being given full creative control.

Joy stands by her tweet, though, and has called on other musicians to continue raising concerns about how Brits nominees are chosen.

"I don't know all the answers... but something needs to be done.

"It's important for other artists to say something.

"I know it's sticky subject and people might just think 'oh be quiet Joy' but I'm not here to offend anyone.

"I'm also not here take anything away from the women that have been nominated.

"Those women have worked so hard, but it is as simple as there aren't enough women nominated in the Brits.

"You can give me the whole story... you can tick all the boxes, but it [diversity] just isn't there yet."

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