Grammys rename World Music category to Global Music over “connotations of colonialism”

It follows discussions with artists, ethnomusicologists, and linguists from around the world

The Grammy Awards have renamed the Best World Music Album category to Best Global Music Album to depart “from the connotations of colonialism”.

The academy made the decision on Monday (November 2), according to Billboard, after reportedly discussing “with artists, ethnomusicologists, and linguists from around the world who determined that there was an opportunity to update…toward a more relevant, modern, and inclusive term”.

“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 said in a statement.


“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.”

It follows a decision on similar racial sensitivity lines in June, when the awards decided to drop the word “urban” from its awards. The Best Urban Contemporary Album category will be known going forward as the Best Progressive R&B Album.

Billboard noted also that the decision to change from World to Global Music mirrors that of the Oscars, who renamed best foreign language film to best international feature film.

This year, the Best World Music Album went to Angélique Kidjo for her 2019 album ‘Celia’.