Adele has sparked controversy on social media after a comment she made at the Brit Awards.
The 33-year-old superstar has come under fire after declaring she ‘loves being a woman’ whilst scooping the gender-neutral Artist of the Year award on Tuesday night.
This year the annual music awards abolished its categories usually split by gender, such as British female solo artist and British male solo artist.
Instead, every award is now gender-neutral to recognize artists “solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them”.
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Adele dominated last night’s Brits after taking home three awards, including Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Artist of the Year.
She is the only solo artist to have won Album of the Year three times – with only the bands Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys achieving the same success.
During her speech at London’s O2 Arena claiming her final award, Adele said: ““I love being an artist I really do, and I genuinely can’t believe that it’s my job.”
After encouraging young artists, she added: “Also, I would say, I understand why the name of this award has changed but I really love being a woman and being a female artist. Gone. I’m really proud of you, I really, really am.”
In the past, the Brit Awards have faced pressure to remove its male and female-specific awards.
Last year after announcing it will introduce new gender-neutral categories, a spokesmen for the Brits said the artists should be celebrated “solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them, as part of The Brits/ commitment to evolve the show to be as inclusive and as relevant as possible.”
But after Adele’s controversial comment, viewers of the Brits have taken to Twitter to share their views on the new category change.
“So did Adele just throw shade at the Brits decision to make awards gender neutral? Not the smartest move,” one viewer said.
“Adele potentially ‘questioning’ gender neutral award categories gives the prejudiced people amongst us fuel to carry on hating. As a huge artist she should be careful with her words.”
“I’ve always found Adele to be off putting and I could never put my finger on what it was. After her little statement complaining about gender neutral categories at the BRITs, I think I figured out at least part of it,” another agreed .
But some fans instead praised Adele for her acknowledgment of being a woman.
“I 1000% agree with what #Adele just said in her speech, I get why the names have changed in the #british but we should embrace being a woman and she’s a great FEMALE artist,” said one viewer.
“The biggest star at the #BRITs making a dig regarding the neutral gender award nonsense. Fantastic. But you keep bowing down to the 0.00000000001% minority @BRITAwards, another added.
“Congrats @Adele on winning the best FEMALE award.”
Popstar Sam Smith, who won the critics’ choice prize in 2013 and identifies as non-binary, has previously called for the change.
Smith added they look forward to a time when awards shows are “reflective of the society we live in.”
The 2022 ceremony also featured four new awards, all decided by public vote, including alternative/rock act; hip hop/grime/rap act; dance act and pop/R’n’B act.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.