Lily Allen leads shock over Brit Awards 2021 snubs as Rina Sawayama, Charli XCX and Arlo Parks are notably absent

Lily Allen and Rina Sawayama
Lily Allen wants ‘justice’ for Rina Sawayama (Picture: Rex)

Lily Allen has led calls for ‘justice’ after Rina Sawayama was sensationally snubbed from the main Brit Awards 2021 nominations list, despite successfully forcing a U-turn over their eligibility rules. 

This year’s nominations, announced on Wednesday, are dominated by women across the board with Dua Lipa and Little Mix among those in the top categories and with multiple nods. 

However, others are noticeably missing including Sawayama and singer Charli XCX.

Expressing her disappointment over their snubs, Lily tweeted: ‘Justice for @rinasawayama and @charli_xcx #BRITs.’ 

Sawayama, 30, was born in Japan but has lived in the UK for 26 years. The musician was shocked to learn that she wasn’t eligible for a Brit nomination as she doesn’t have a British passport and isn’t a citizen – Japanese citizens are not permitted to have dual citizenship. 

After learning this, Sawayama raised awareness about the discriminatory rule and the BPI – which runs the Brits and Mercury Prize awards – announced there would be a review. 

The board then overhauled their rule and announced in February that their criteria had changed to allow nominations for artists who are either born in the UK, hold a UK passport, or have been a permanent resident in the UK for more than five years. 

Sawayama, who released her debut album Sawayama last year, was then shortlisted for the Brits’ Rising Star Award, which was eventually won by Griff. 

Charli XCX did not receive a Brit nod this year after releasing her fourth studio album How I’m Feeling Now in May 2020. 

Former One Direction star Niall Horan surprised his followers when he appeared to address his own absence from the nominations and tweeted: ‘Snubbed,’ alongside the thumbs up and cry laughing emoji. 

Charli XCX on red carpet
Charli XCX was tipped for an album and solo female nomination but received nothing (Picture: Getty Images)

However, he immediately added: ‘I’m jokinggggg.’ 

Niall had a great year music wise with his second solo studio album, Heartbreak Weather, reaching number one in March. 

Arlo Parks is undoubtedly one of the foremost hotly-tipped new artists of the year but did not receive a nod. However, it’s possible she could be eligible for next year’s nominations. 

Other notable snubs include Cardi B, Billie Eilish and Megan Thee Stallion in the international category. 

The Brit Awards 2021 take place on May 11 at London’s O2 Arena. 

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Brit Awards nominations 2021

Male solo artist

AJ Tracey

Headie One

J Hus

Joel Corry


Female solo artist

Arlo Parks


Dua Lipa

Jessie Ware

Lianne La Havas

British single

220 Kid (feat GRACEY) – Don’t Need Love

Aitch and AJ Tracey (feat Tay Keith) – Rain 

Dua Lipa – Physical

Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar

Headie One (feat AJ Tracey and Stormzy) – Ain’t It Different

Joel Corry (feat MNEK) Head and Heart

Nathan Dawe (feat KSI) – Lighter

Regard and Raye – Secrets

S1MBA (feat DTG) – Rover

Young T and Bugsey (feat Headie One) – Don’t Rush

British group


Biffy Clyro

Little Mix

The 1975

Young T & Bugsey 

Breakthrough artist

Arlo Parks



Joel Corry

Young T & Bugsey 

International group


Fontaines DC

Foo Fighters


Run the Jewels

International female solo artist

Ariana Grande

Billie Eilish

Cardi B

Miley Cyrus

Taylor Swift

International male solo artist

Bruce Springsteen

Burna Boy

Childish Gambino

Tame Impala

The Weeknd

Mastercard album

Arlo Parks- Collapsed in Sunbeams

Celeste – Not Your Muse

Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia

J Hus – Big Conspiracy

Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?

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