The World Music Awards is an international awards show founded in 1989 under the high patronage of Albert II, Prince of Monaco and is based in Monte-Carlo. Awards are presented to the world's best-selling artists in the various categories and to the best-selling artists from each major territory. Sales figures are provided by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Nine awards are voted online by the public. The awards are gold-plated, each depicting an artist holding the world, and are designed and manufactured by R.S. Owens & Co. who also make the Oscars.
The World Music Awards builds hospitals, schools and orphanages through the Monaco Aide et Presence Foundation and the Combonian Missionary Association which assist underdeveloped Areas in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Brazil. There are 23 operational Centres saving lives and providing shelter and education including a hospital at Port Bouet in Côte d'Ivoire serving a population of over 170,000 inhabitants, a hospital, 2 homes and a school in India, a home in Sri Lanka for handicapped girls, a hospital in Rwanda, a hospital in Darfur, a hospital and school in Niger, a health centre and home in Cameroun and a hospital in Cambodia. Additionally, a home for abandoned children in Brazil, plus a hospital, school and 12 homes in Madagascar have been constructed, and the complete renovation and extension of an existing hospital in Mokatam, Egypt.
Apart from the world's best-selling artists in the various categories and the national best-selling artists, special millennium awards were presented in 2000 to the world's best-selling recording-artist of all time. The awards were presented to Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey in the male and female artist award categories.