WOMEX Awards

Since the introduction of the WOMEX Award in 1999, the list of extraordinary artists and professionals from our community deserving of this special praise has continued to grow. The award honours exceptional achievements in global music on the international level; musical excellence, social importance, commercial success, political impact, lifetime achievement – any or all of these might make one a worthy recipient. Learn more about our award statuette below.

WOMEX 23 Awards honours the following artists, organisations and labels:

Award Recipients 2023

Photo by Shudufhadzo Lubengo

Artist Award

The award recognises the achievements of an individual artist or a musical group, and celebrates those who excel in the mastery of musical craft, who embody artistic distinction, dynamism and creativity, who use music as a medium of positive change, and offer a unique and committed vision.

Award Recipients 2023

On the Move

Professional Excellence Award

The award honours exceptional achievements of an individual, group or an organisation in music. Musical excellence, cultural significance, advocacy and activism, lifetime achievement and a commercial success without compromise are all elements that may determine the Award Recipient.

Award Recipients 2023



Award Recipients


Award Recipients


Award Recipients

2019 - 1999

Award Recipients

About the Award

The WOMEX Award statuette was created at a time when there was no such thing as Asia or Europe, black or white, First or Third World.

The Award figurine is an ancient mother goddess statue, dating back about 6000 years to the Neolithic age. It was found in Haçilar in modern-day Turkey and bears witness to the existence of a matriarchal society. Such a female goddess appears in many ancient mythologies as an initial primal figure, representing fertility and procreation either as the earth itself or as a mother giving birth to the world and all the creatures in it.

Supporting musical creativity and fertility, it is only fitting that the mother of all and everything represents WOMEX’s tributes to the Award recipients.

What better symbol for our widely varied fields of music?

See all award recipients 2022 - 1999