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Brits Beef! James Bay Dodged a Question About Diversity at The Brits by Dragging Lily Allen

Now she's rinsing him on Twitter.
February 22, 2016, 10:08am

The Brit Awards 2016 are this Wednesday, and already we are strapped firmly into the early beef swing, but to understand it all, we need a little recent historical context.

A few weeks ago, Lily Allen came out swinging against the lack of diversity in The Brits nominations on Facebook. She called the event “blind to black talent", after Skepta and Stormzy were shunned for “tactical” votes for “music industry figures”. She continued: “It is the awards ceremony Alan Partridge would approve of,” although she since deleted the post.


Her take might not have been especially hot, but it's especially valid. Despite British rap and grime having one of the biggest years on record, they are criminally underrepresented in the nominations. There's no Skepta, Stormzy, JME, Lethal Bizzle or even Krept and Konan, whose debut studio album peaked at 2 in the UK charts yet somehow still did not translate to an appearance in the Best British Breakthrough category. Stormzy labelled the whole thing embarassing in his "One Take Freestyle", and there is now a petition calling for the Brits to publish the diversity figures of their voting academy.

But steady up there reader, because just incase you thought this news story was an open and shut case, here comes earnest hat-wearer James Bay, and he isn't having any of it. When asked about the lack of diversity by 3am over the weekend, he dodged the question and chose instead to drag Lily Allen, remarking: "I can’t think of her last album, [or] when she last released something.”

"It’s varied nominations. It’s about music. I don’t know why she’s had to go down that route," before then offering the disclaimer of: "I haven’t looked closely into all the nominations but it’s interesting she should bring that up."

I won't bother dissecting any of the above statements too much, suffice to say that if you wrote that into a term paper most professors would fail you for non sequiturs. Lily has since clapped back with a series of tweets, confirming that she had never heard of James Bay before this morning but has now "listened to some of his music and seen his hat."


A fellow named James Bay dodged a question about lack of diversity at the Brits has apparently labeled me entirely forgettable

— lily (@lilyallen) February 22, 2016

I must admit if not heard of him until I saw my feed this morning, I have now listened to some of his music and seen his hat.

— lily (@lilyallen) February 22, 2016

he shares a name with the most standard, basic and least flavorsome herb, which I found both fitting and amusing.

— lily (@lilyallen) February 22, 2016

Hell, It's no Jarvis Cocker showing Michael Jackson his arse, but maybe a shady interview and some tweets are the closest 2016 can get to something like that.


James Bay has issued the following statement via his PR:

“Having been out of the country in Australia and America for the past 3 weeks I was unaware of Lily’s comments about the Brits. I fully support and believe the Brits should represent a diverse spectrum of artists and music. I don’t feel negative towards Lily or her music at all, I’d simply been unaware of her most recent release and subsequently someone has been over creative with this whole story.”