Pop star Rina Sawayama was one of the esteem recipients of the Gay Times awards, with Rina winning the British Excellence in Music award.
She wrote “im so honoured to represent the queer music community as an immigrant and person of colour, and to be among my irl chosen (and biological) family !!!!”
“thank u @chesterlockhart for presenting me with the award I can’t express my love and gratitude for ur very existence !!!!! I had so much fun headlining the show too ?❤️? and to be there with my very queer touring family ❤️? thank u for an incredible night ❤️?”
Impressively, she did her own make-up as well.
Gay Times wrote about Rina being the recipient: “Whether it’s calling out the capitalist beast of the industry or the inner industry microaggressions and racism she faced as an artist, Rina has proven herself a force to be reckoned with.”
“Releasing one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year, as well as delivering an accompanying tour of the same calibre, Rina personifies British Excellence in Music and we can’t wait to see what she does next.”
Rina has continuously worked towards helping elevating others within the music industry, especially when after her campaigning The Mercury Prize and The BRIT Awards changed their eligibility criteria.
Back in 2020, Rina was initially nominated for a Mercury prize but after the board learnt she had moved to the UK as a toddler and was not born here her nomination was revoked. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which organises the ceremonies, received incredible amounts of backlash from Rina and from fans.
An online campaign quickly got underway, under the hashtag #SAWAYAMAISBRITISH. Eventually, the rule was overturned.
After the groundbreaking verdict, Rina released a statement “thank you all from the bottom of my heart for sharing the #SAWAYAMAISBRITISH campaign worldwide and igniting this important conversation about Britishness,” she wrote.
“Without your collective voice this wouldn’t have happened. 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.”
“The idea that my music can be part of that is unbelievably exciting.”