Rina Sawayama Sparks Mercury Prize and BRITs Eligibility Changes

Music

Last year, Rina Sawayama revealed that she was ineligible for the Mercury Prize as well as domestic categories at the BRIT Awards due to nationality clauses, despite having lived and worked in the United Kingdom since she was a toddler. Now, Sawayama has announced that, starting this year and following conversations with the BPI, the rules of eligibility have expanded. Artists will now be eligible for nomination if they have been a resident of the UK for five years, even without British citizenship. Check out Sawayama’s Instagram post detailing the historic change below.

“Without your collective voice, this wouldn’t have happened,” Sawayama wrote in her statement. “In my 26th year of living in the UK I’m so proud that I can help make this systemic change for future generations, so that in years to come we can see a more diverse definition of British musical excellence.”

Sawayama released her debut album, SAWAYAMA, last year. Read Pitchfork’s Rising feature “Rina Sawayama on Her Wildly Eclectic and Disarmingly Personal Debut Album.”

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