BRIT Awards 2017 set for major voting shakeup
The BRIT Awards 2017 will see a major shakeup in voting in a bid to make the awards show more gender and ethnicity balanced.
The organisers have decided to invite 1,200 industry professionals to join the BRITs Voting Academy, which selects the nominees and the winners of most of the prizes.
This year will see 57 per cent of the invites go out to new members in a bid to promote a diverse awards show.
This will include 718 potential new voters to achieve greater gender balance as well as increased BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) representation.
The changes have been led by BPI Chairman, Ged Doherty, who earlier this year gave a public undertaking to review the Voting Academy.
Ged 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 BPI appointed a specialist committee comprising leading Black and Asian figures from music and media to advise on the Academy's voting structure.
The invitation list for the 2017 Awards is made up of 52 per cent male and 48 per cent female members - a significant shift from the 70/30 split for the 2016 Awards.
With 17 per cent of this year's invitees are BAME, Which is 15 per cent more than 2016.
The 2017 BRIT nominations will be announced on January 14 live on a primetime ITV Saturday evening slot - featuring special performances.
The BRIT Awards 2017 take place on Wednesday February 22 at London's The O2, hosted by Canadian superstar Michael Bublé, and will broadcast live on ITV.