Grammys Change Name Of World Music Album Category Due To Connotations of ‘Colonialism’

Angélique Kidjois the only three-time winner in the category to date (PHOTO BY ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES)

The Grammys are following the Oscars’ lead and showing more cultural sensitivity, changing the name of its ‘Best World Music Album’ category to ‘Best Global Music Album’.

The move echoes a change made this past year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. They changed the name of ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ to ‘Best International Feature Film’. The first winner of the renamed award was Parasite, which also went on to win ‘Best Picture’.

The Recording Academy announced the name change on Monday, November 2, nearly five months after they announced the bulk of their category tweaks for this year and just 22 days before the announcement of the 63rd annual Grammy nominations.

In a statement, the Recording Academy said: “As we continue to embrace a truly global mindset, we update our language to reflect a more appropriate categorization that seeks to engage and celebrate the current scope of music from around the world.”

“Over the summer we held discussions with artists, ethnomusicologists, and linguists from around the world who determined that there was an opportunity to update the best world music album category toward a more relevant, modern, and inclusive term… The change symbolizes a departure from the connotations of colonialism, folk, and ‘non-American’ that the former term embodied while adapting to current listening trends and cultural evolution among the diverse communities it may represent.”

The Academy introduced the category in 1991. The first winner, in February 1992, was Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum. Ry Cooder was the first two-time winner in the category. Ravi Shankar and Ladysmith Black Mambazo have also won twice in the category. Angélique Kidjo is the only three-time winner in the category to date.

Here is how the Recording Academy defines the category in its current online guidebook, which has category rules for all 84 categories:

“This category recognizes excellence in albums of world music, including recordings of international non-Western classical music, international non-American and non-British traditional folk music, international cross-cultural music based on the previously mentioned genres as well as international recordings of world beat, world jazz (with a higher percentage of world than jazz music), world pop and cross-cultural music. Albums of reggae, Latin or European pop music aren’t eligible in this category and should be entered in other categories as appropriate.”

See Also:

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source: Billboard

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