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Queen’s Lead Guitarist Brian May Criticizes Brit Awards Gendered Category Changes

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By Anita Tai.

With award season in full swing, a lot of changes are being made.

In November, the Brit Awards announced they will scrap the separate male and female categories for solo artist and international solo artist. The categories will instead be replaced by artist of the year and international artist of the year.

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They said the changes are to honour artists “solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them” and was part of the event’s “commitment to evolving the show to be as inclusive and as relevant as possible.”


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However, not everyone is happy with the changes.

When asked about the decision at the ITV Palooza event, Queen lead guitarist Brian May told the Mirror, “It’s a decision that has been made without enough thought. A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone.

“I get so sick of people trying to change things without thinking of the long-term consequences. Some of these things are an improvement, some of them are not.”

The artist had further thoughts about the state of the creative world at present, calling it an “atmosphere of fear everywhere because people are afraid to say how they really think.”

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He elaborated: “I think so many people are feeling, ‘Hang on, this isn’t quite right.’ But they don’t dare say anything. Eventually, there will be some kind of explosion.”

Speaking to the culture of diversity today, he believes that a lack of diversity shouldn’t be as big a deal.

“Freddie came from Zanzibar, he wasn’t British, he wasn’t white as such — nobody cares, nobody ever, ever discussed it,” he said. “He was a musician, he was our friend, he was our brother. We didn’t have to stop and think, Oh, now, should we work with him? Is he the right colour? Is he the right sexual proclivity? None of that happened, and now I find it frightening that you have to be so calculating about everything.”


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May feels so strongly about the topic that he thinks Queen would have struggled as a band today.

“We would be forced to have people of different colours and different sexes and we would have to have a trans [person],” he explained. “You know, life doesn’t have to be like that. We can be separate and different.”

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