Ed Sheeran Has Been Voted The Most Important Act In Black And Urban Music

Which raises the question… WTF?

BBC’s 1Xtra has voted Ed Sheeran the “most important UK artist in the black and urban music scene”.

Gus Ruelas / Reuters

The highest-placed black artist in the list was rapper Tinie Tempah in the third spot. At number two were Disclosure, who are two white brothers called Guy and Howard Lawrence, with white singer Sam Smith in fourth place.

When 1Xtra, which is labelled “the UK’s leading black music station”, released the list, it was met with a fair bit of shock online.

Ed Sheeran? Seriously, @1Xtra get your shit the fuck together.

— ConnieLingusss (@Mae)

"@NME: Ed Sheeran named most powerful figure in black and urban music by 1Xtra http://t.co/k95rDmQkCu" am I colour blind?

— Deon_RSWT (@Z0MB13)

And even Wiley, who was 16th (out of 20), was confused by the choice.

I've never been influenced by a white artist to make black music . #Never.

— WileyUpdates (@Wiley)

It's nothing to do with a race card it's to do with "Don't lie and pretend who influences who"

— WileyUpdates (@Wiley)

A man wrote for one direction so let him me be the most influential artist to people like them but not us .

— WileyUpdates (@Wiley)

Im not bitter fam I just sold a Likkle million records myself but this reminds me of when plan b won best grime/HipHop artist at mobo .

— WileyUpdates (@Wiley)

We have been bumped basically .Not taking anything away from ed ..he is sick . but black artist in england we are getting bumped.

— WileyUpdates (@Wiley)

A BBC spokesperson explained the decision:


Artists were considered on variables such as sales statistics, quality of music and impact across the wider industry – it is not about the colour of someone’s skin.

Here is 1Xtra Power List in full:


1. Ed Sheeran
2. Disclosure
3. Tinie Tempah
4. Sam Smith
5. Rudimental
6. Emeli Sande
7. Naughty Boy
8. Katy B
9. Krept & Konan
10. Fuse ODG
11. Boy Better Know
12. Rita Ora
13. Lethal Bizzle
14. DJ Fresh
15. Jessie J
16. Wiley
17. Giggs
18. Laura Mvula
19. Wretch 32
20. Dizzee Rascal

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