Grammys Rename World Music Category Over “Connotations of Colonialism”

Music

The Recording Academy has announced that the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album has been renamed, Billboard reports. The award will now be called Best Global Music Album. This year, the award went to Angélique Kidjo (who shouted out fellow nominee Burna Boy in her acceptance speech). In previous years, it’s been awarded to Yo-Yo Ma, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Tinariwen, Gipsy Kings, Ravi Shankar, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, the Chieftains, and others.

“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,” the Recording Academy’s statement reads. “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.”

Previously, the Grammy announced that Best Urban Contemporary Album would be renamed Best Progressive R&B Album. The word “urban” was removed from the Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album category, while Latin Pop was renamed Latin Pop and Urban.

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