Grammys Ditch World Music Category over Its "Connotations of Colonialism"
Published Nov 03, 2020The "world" music tag has been problematic for ages, but finally the Grammy Awards are scrubbing their Best World Music category. Going forward, it will now be know as Best Global Music Album.
This follows a similar move earlier this year, when the Recording Academy got rid of the term "Urban" (though there is still a Grammy category called Best Latin Pop or Urban Album, for whatever reason).
Speaking of the latest change, the Recording Academy said the following:
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.
In the past, the award had been given to artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Tinariwen, Gipsy Kings, Ravi Shankar, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and the Chieftains. Last year, the award went to Angéliqu Kidjo.
The 2020 Grammy nominations are due to be announced on November 24, with the 63rd annual Grammys celebration set to take place on January 31.