Grammy rename world music category to avoid ‘connotations of colonialism’

Next year’s Grammys will have no “best world music”album category. That album category has been renamed to the “best global music” album, to avoid “connotations of colonialism”.

The Recording Academy said the change came following discussions with stakeholders to find a more relevant, modern, and inclusive term.

“The change symbolises 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,” a statement said.

The term “world music” was originally coined in the UK in 1987 to help market music from non-western artists. The Grammys created the best world music album category in 1992, with winners since including Ravi Shankar, Gilberto Gil, and three-time recipient Angélique Kidjo.

Media entities such as The Guardian and the UK music festival Womad have swapped the term for more inclusive terms.

Nominations for the 2021 Grammys will be announced on 24 November.