Nigeria: Grammy’s best world album category renamed ‘Colonialism’

Prior to the 2021 Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy renamed the ‘Best World Music Album’ to ‘Best Global Music Album’ to avoid ‘connotations of colonialism’.

Several African music stars such as Angélique Kidjo, Soweto Gospel Choir, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble, are past winners of the category launched in 1991.

According to a statement published in Billboard, the academy said the move was in line with its quest to “adopt a truly global mindset”.

It added that the initiative symbolizes a departure from the connotations of colonialism and an attempt to better adapt to ‘current listening trends and cultural evolution’.

“As we continue to adopt a truly global mindset, we are upgrading our language to a more appropriate categorization that seeks to capture and celebrate the current range of music from around the world,” the statement said.

‘During the summer, we held talks with artists, ethnomusicologists and linguists from around the world who determined that there is an opportunity to update the best world music album category to a more relevant, modern and inclusive term.

“The change symbolizes a departure from the connotations of colonialism, people and ‘non-Americans’ that embodied the former term while adapting to current listening trends and cultural evolution among the various communities it may represent.”

The development comes months after the academy also renamed the category ‘Best Urban Contemporary Album’ to ‘Best Progressive R&B Album’.

The 63rd GRAMMY Awards will be held on January 31, 2021.

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