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Ed Sheeran Tops List Of Most Important Artists On UK's Leading 'Black Music Station'

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Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP
Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

BBC Radio 1Xtra, "the U.K.'s leading black music station" according to its Twitter account, named Ed Sheeran as the most important U.K. artist "in the scene" over the last 12 months on Friday, July 11. The news that Sheeran topped the list, which also included black artists such as Wiley, Dizzee Rascal and other performers, was met with condemnation from all corners of the Internet.

"Ed Sheeran Has Been Voted The Most Important Act In Black And Urban Music," read the headline on BuzzFeed, which included a sub-headline of: "Which raises the question… WTF?"

Added Wiley on his Twitter account:

According to The Independent, Wiley also tweeted that the list was the "saddest in music history." (A scan of Wiley's Twitter account, however, didn't turn up that tweet.)

Responding to the controversy, a spokesperson for the BBC said that 1Xtra's list was not about race. "Artists were considered on variables such as sales statistics, quality of music and impact across the wider industry," the spokesperson told The Independent, "it is not about the color of someone's skin."

Back on Twitter on Monday, July 14, Wiley noted that it wasn't Sheeran's race that made him so upset, but the idea that Sheeran was an influencer on urban music.

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