The Grammy Award for Best World Music Album was introduced at the 1992 ceremony, but nearly 30 years later, the Recording Academy feels it’s time for a change. Yesterday, they announced that beginning with next year’s Grammys, the award will be known as Best Global Music Album.
The Academy explained the decision in a statement:
“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.”
After the 2003 Grammys, the Best World Music Album award was split into two categories: Best Traditional World Music Album and Best Contemporary World Music Album. However, they were merged back into Best World Music Album for the 2012 ceremony.
This comes months after the Academy announced a slew of other changes, like the renaming of the Best Urban Contemporary Album category, which is now known as Best Progressive R&B Album.