The Best World Music Album category that the Grammy Awards is no more. The Recording Academy has revealed that the category has been renamed to Best Global Music Album because of potentially racist connotations.
In a statement obtained by Billboard, the Recording Academy explained its choice to change the name. "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 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," it continues.
"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."
Previous winners of the Best World Music Album include Angélique Kidjo, Yo-Yo Ma, Ravi Shankar, Caetano Veloso, the Chieftains and more.
In June, the Record Academy announced that its Best Urban Contemporary Album category was being renamed to Best Progressive R&B Album. The move was intended to "describe the merit of characteristics of music compositions or performances themselves." The word "urban" was also eliminated from the Latin, Rock, Urban or Alternative Album award category.
That move followed Republic Records' stance to drop the use of the word "urban" when referencing Black music, citing its "generalization of Black people in many sectors of the music industry, including employees and music by Black artists."
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