Grammy Awards rename world music category to avoid 'connotations of colonialism'

The trophy will now be awarded under the banner of Best Global Music Album

epa08168553 Angelique Kidjo poses in the press room with the Grammy for Best World Music Album during the 62nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 26 January 2020.  EPA-EFE/DAVID SWANSON
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The Grammy Awards has changed the name of its Best World Music Album category to the Best Global Music Album, in an attempt to find “a more relevant, modern and inclusive term".

The Recording Academy said in a statement that the new name “symbolises a departure from the connotations of colonialism, folk and ‘non-American’ that the former term embodied".

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

The step comes some five months after the Academy made changes to several Grammy Awards categories, including renaming the best Urban Contemporary Album category to best Progressive R&B Album.

It also follows a similar recent step made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which changed the name of its Best Foreign Language Film Oscar to Best International Feature Film.

In the past few years, the winners of the now-Global Music Album category include Angelique Kidjo's Celia, Soweto Gospel Choir's Freedom and Ladysmith Black Mambazo's Shaka Zulu Revisited.

The Academy said the newly named category ”will continue to provide a home for influential music from all parts of the globe, yet bringing with it a fresh perspective fuelled by authenticity, diversity and direct inclusion into our process".