BBC bosses have defended their decision to name singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran the most important artist in Britain's black and urban music scene.
The A Team hitmaker saw off competition from black artists including rapper Tinie Tempah and soul star Emeli Sande to top the Power List, which was compiled by a panel of experts for the BBC Radio 1Xtra station.
The list sparked a backlash among many fans and musicians, with rapper Wiley branding the U.K. music industry "backwards" and accusing the BBC of "skullduggery" for "bumping" black artists from the list.
BBC bosses have now responded to the criticism and defended their decision to pick Sheeran as the leading figure in the black music scene.
Austin Daboh, BBC Radio 1Xtra's music manager, says, "Every single day of the week, every single hour of the day we support black artists and other races that make black music sounds... I think that anyone who wants to bring race into the discussion is probably a little bit misguided."
British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran has been named the most important artist in Britain's black and urban music scene by a panel of experts. A list put together by bosses at BBC Radio 1Xtra names The A Team hitmaker the most important musician in the music genre, followed up dance duo Disclosure and rapper Tinie Tempah.
Presenter Yasmin Evans writes of Sheeran, "Having JUST his music in mind and disregarding anything else that we may have considered for other artists there is SO much power in what he produces & writes that this alone holds so much power."
However, the list has sparked a backlash among some musicians and fans, with rapper Wiley insisting black British musicians are being pushed out.
In a series of posts on his Twitter.com page, Wiley writes, "We influence a man and all of a sudden it turns he has influenced us... Lol (laugh out loud)... England music industry is backwards. God bless those who try tho (sic)... People think i am mad. I am not mad i can just see skull duggery from miles away... We have been bumped basically. Not taking anything away from ed... he is sick. but black artist in england we are getting bumped."
Singer Sam Smith, production team Rudimental, Emeli Sande, Katy B and Krept & Konan also appear in the list's top 10.