Queen’s lead guitarist Brian May has apologised for his comments over the BRIT Awards new gender-neutral categories.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the 2022 BRIT Awards wouldn’t feature gender-based categories in an effort to celebrate “artists solely for their music and work”.

Shortly after the announcement was made, Queen member Brian May criticised the award show for its inclusive change.

During his appearance at ITV’S Palooza event, May told The Mirror that the decision could have “long-term consequences.”

“It’s a decision that has been made without enough thought. A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone,” he said.

“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.”

He also said that Queen wouldn’t be considered diverse enough for the BRITS if they debuted today, stating: “We would be forced to have people of different colours and different sexes and we would have to have a trans [person].”

After receiving backlash for his comments, May took to Instagram to apologize and said he was “ambushed and completely stitched up” at the time.

“And it’s led to a whole mess of press stories making it look like I’m unfriendly to trans people,” he said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. My words were subtly twisted.”


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A post shared by Brian Harold May (@brianmayforreal)

“My heart is open as always to humans of all colours, all creeds, all sexes and sexualities, all shapes and sizes – and all creatures,” he wrote.

“We all deserve respect and an equal place in this world. And my grateful thanks to all of you who have stepped up to defend me in the last couple of days. It means so much that you have faith in me.”

Before the history-making change was introduced, reports of genderless BRIT categories first made headlines in 2019.

However, plans were pushed back after officials said that they needed to “consult more widely before changes are made to make sure we get it right.”

With the 2022 award show right around the corner, the ceremony is set to launch new awards for Artist of the Year and International Artist of the Year, as opposed to featuring Male and Female awards.

According to a spokesperson for The BRIT Awards, the new genres will be celebrated to “demonstrate the diverse cultural melting pot that British music is known for.”

Tom March, BRIT Chair and Co-President of Polydor Records, echoed similar sentiments, stating: “It is important that The BRITs continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible.

“It feels completely the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for the music that they create, and the work that they do, irrespective of gender.”

The full category list for 2022 will be as follows:

  • Artist of the Year with YouTube Music
  • Group of the Year
  • BRITs Rising Star supported by BBC Radio 1
  • Best New Artist
  • Song of the Year with Mastercard
  • Mastercard Album of the Year
  • International Artist of the Year
  • International Group of the Year
  • Alternative/Rock Act
  • Pop/R&B Act
  • Dance Act
  • Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act

The 2022 Brit Awards will take place on 8 February at the O2 Arena.