The BPI has announced an overhaul of the BRITS Voting Academy to promote greater diversity among the experts selecting the award winners.
Last year’s BRITs were criticised for not accurately reflecting the diverse make up of the UK music industry.
In response, the BPI appointed a specialist committee comprising leading Black and Asian figures from music and media, co-chaired by Paulette Long OBE and Kwame Kwaten, to advise on the academy’s voting structures and make-up.
As such, organisers more than half of the invites have been sent out to new members. The final invitation list for the 2017 Awards is made up of 52 percent male and 48 percent female members – a significant shift from the 70/30 split for the 2016 Awards. 17 percent of this year’s invitees are BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) – up from the 15 percent (voter) figure in 2016.
Ged Doherty, BPI chairman, said: ‘I’m really proud that we’ve taken firm action to refresh the academy to ensure that it keeps up with trends in music and society at large.
‘I believe that as a result of these changes the BRITs will be better equipped to reflect the diverse nature of Britain and British music. There’s been a long-held myth that BRITs winners and nominees are decided by industry executives in a smoke-filled room, but the simple truth is that the awards are voted for each year by a 1000+ strong Voting Academy made up of experts drawn from all areas of music.’
The invitee list for the academy is made up from all areas of music throughout the UK, ranging from artists to media, and members are invited on the basis of their music expertise and knowledge.
Voting Academy invites will be sent out today, Monday 7 November. Voting will commence on Friday 9 December and close 13 December.
Read our recent guide on how to make it in the music industry with Kwame.