Harry Styles dedicates his Brits win to overlooked women artists

Written by Katie Rosseinsky

As well as shouting out his former One Direction bandmates, Harry Styles dedicated his Best Artist trophy to “Rina, Charli, Florence, Mabel and Becky”.

When it was time for Harry Styles to accept his second Brit Award of the night, the star chose to dedicate his win to a handful of brilliant female musicians.

No women artists were nominated in the gender neutral Best Artist category this year, a decision which dominated the headlines in the lead up to the awards show.

After thanking his mum for signing him up to The X Factor without telling him all those years ago, and an unexpected shoutout to all of his former One Direction bandmates, Styles noted his “privilege” and name-checked five women.

“I’m very aware of my privilege up here tonight, so this award is for Rina, Charli, Florence, Mabel and Becky,” he said, in a nod to Rina Sawayama, Charli XCX, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, his former tour mate Mabel and Becky Hill. 

His speech seemed to subtly acknowledge the debate provoked by his Grammys acceptance earlier this month.

When Styles was named as the winner of the Album of the Year trophy at the US music industry event, he responded by claiming that: “This doesn’t happen to people like me very often.”

His words provoked major debate online, with some commentators suggesting that people “like” Styles – white, cisgender male artists -are acknowledged by the music industry all too often, while others are often overlooked.

The Brit Awards 2023 have been a huge night for Styles, who opened the show with a performance of his hit ‘As It Was’.

Harry Styles at the Brit Awards 2023

While the Best Artist category was a female-free zone, things weren’t much better in many of the other major categories, with Wet Leg the only female artists to crop up on the Brits’ Album of the Year shortlist.

In a statement released in January, the Brits put this down to a lack of “high profile artists in cycle with major releases in 2022”, as the eligibility period for this year’s Awards ran from December 10 2021 to December 9 2022.

“These trends based around the release schedule are a feature of the music industry, but if, over time, a pattern emerges, then this puts the onus on the industry to deal with this important issue – and the BPI is already carrying out a major study to identify barriers that may inhibit more women becoming successful in music, so that there can be solutions that result in meaningful change,” they said. 

Images: Getty

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