Anne-Marie and Charli have both expressed frustration at the lack of women on a shortlist for Tuesday's February 18, 2020 ceremony that features Dave, Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Harry Styles, and Michael Kiwanuka.
However, Geoff, the chief executive at awards organisers the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), points out that three of last year's five nominees, who included Anne-Marie, were women - although all-male band The 1975 won on the night.
"There's been a lot of success for male acts in 2019 - and with grime and hip-hop doing very well, they are more male-dominated genres," he tells Britain's Music Week magazine. "That is different to 2019."
"We had a really strong showing from female (nominees) last year with the same (gender) balance in the academy. So last year it was all about Dua Lipa, Anne-Marie, Jorja Smith, Florence (Florence and the Machine), and Jess Glynne."
The BPI chief went on to say that the nominations simply reflected a strong 2019 for male acts.
"When you look at the Album of the Year nominees, they all released absolutely fantastic records," he says. "We have an academy that's made up equally of men and women, and that academy decided that these were the best releases of this particular year. I think we need to respect that."
Anne-Marie told Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper the lack of female representation this year "does p**s me off," while Charli, who could win the British Female Solo Artist prize at the event at the O2 in London, expressed fury about the lack of gender-balance.
"What the f**k is that about?" she raged. "It's what everyone has been saying. Women don't just deserve to be in the female categories, we're not the subplot, the warm-up act, we're the main event."