The grammy recording academy has announced that the Grammy Awards have renamed the international category from “Best World Album” to “Best Global Album”.
The Grammys said that this was in line with being culturally sensitive to the modern world. This follows months after the Oscars renamed the international category “Best Foreign Language Film” to “Best International Feature Film”. The Grammys have been known to be a historically white awards show that consistently favours white musicians. The international category, on the other hand, has consistently been dominated by nominees from Africa and those in the diaspora which is not really talked about so much.
This announcement was made known on monday, November 2nd in a public statement. The recording academy wrote;
“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”.
A board of specialists were fundamental for the name change. As indicated by Pitchfork, reformist specialists, ethnomusicologists, and etymologists from around the globe were counseled and saw a requirement for the change. While from the start this change may seem to be subjective to a few, language has consistently been a methods for gatekeeping. The “world” in this example, implied that America was not a part of the remainder of the world but actually, better than different nations. Besides, the previous name weighted English music more in this way advancing colonialist feelings which exactly is what has been happening.
Four time winner of this Category Angelique kidjo has always been vocal about the outdated name of this Category and not only that most people feel the Grammys is a white award as they always go home with most and better awards.
The grammy recording academy described the new category:
“This category recognizes excellence in albums of world music, including recordings of international non-Western classical music, international non-American and non-British traditional folk music, international cross-cultural music based on the previously mentioned genres as well as international recordings of world beat, world jazz (with a higher percentage of world than jazz music), world pop and cross-cultural music. Albums of reggae, Latin or European pop music aren’t eligible in this category and should be entered in other categories as appropriate.”
Brazilians dominate the “Best World album” having won it five times more than any other nationality. South Africa has won twice with ensemble group Ladysmith Black Mambazo clinching wins in both 2014 and 2018. Beninese artist Angelique Kidjo has been nominated nine times and won four times. Only Nigeria is yet to win but having gotten nominations. With the most recent being Burna Boy.