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.”