Harry Styles dedicates his Artist of Year BRITs gong to female artists amid gender row

Harry Styles dedicates his Artist of Year BRITs gong to female artists amid gender row

Harry Styles said he was “aware of my privilege” as he dedicated his Artist of the Year gong at The BRIT Awards 2023 to a string of female artists.

The 29-year-old former One Direction singer made the tribute after the BRITs was slated for its all-male list of Artist of the Year nominees after bosses made the category gender neutral.

He also thanked his mum and former bandmates for making his career as he picked up his second gong of the night.

Harry – who beat Central Cee, Fred again.., George Ezra and Stormzy in the Artist of the Year category, started his winners speech by saying: “I want to thank my family for being the most supportive, understanding, patient, loving family I could have ever asked for.

“I want to thank my mum for signing me up for X Factor without telling me – so I literally wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.

“I want to thank (One Direction’s) Niall (Horan), Louis (Tomlinson), Liam (Payne) and Zayn (Malik) because I wouldn’t be here without all you lot, – thank you so much.”

Referring to this year’s BRITs controversy over zero female nominees in the Artist of the Year category: “I’m really, really grateful for this, and I’m very aware of my privilege up here tonight, so this award is for Reyna, Florence (Welch), Mabel and Becky (Hill).”

Harry, who was nominated in four categories, then did a shot on stage with host Mo Gilligan, 34, who said: “Clink, clink” before they downed their drinks.

Earlier in the night, Harry said it was “so good to be home” as he picked up his first gong of the night.

He told the crowd as he picked up the trophy for Best Pop/R+B prize – beating Cat Burns, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa and Sam Smith to the prize: “Thank you so, so much for this. First of all, I know this was a fan-voted award so for all the fans who voted, thank you all so much.

“I have so many wonderful memories of the BRITs so thank you for another one, and it is so good to be home. Thank you so, so much.”

Harry’s Best Pop/R+B award was announced by actress Salma Hayek, 56, who called him “the one amd only Harry Styles” when she read his name – while she was flanked by two semi-naked Magic Mike-style dancers.

Mo Gilligan then prompted criticism from fans when he made a glaring error by introducing a performance from Lewis Capaldi, 26, by saying “Sam Capaldi” was about to take to the stage.

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