India shines at Grammys as Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain win big

The 2024 Grammy Awards have been a great event in terms of India’s perspective as five musicians, including tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, picked up the coveted prize at a glittering ceremony in Los Angeles.

While Hussain was India’s big winner with three Grammys, Rakesh Chaurasia followed him with two. Singer Shankar Mahadevan, violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan, and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram, Hussain’s collaborators in the fusion group ‘Shakti’, won one Grammy each at the event held at the Arena Sunday night.


Shankar Mahadevan, V Selvaganesh, and Ganesh Rajagopalan of fusion group Shakti


Shakti won the 2024 Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album for “This Moment”. The album features the four Indians as well as its founding member, the legendary British guitarist John McLaughlin. “This Moment”, which was released to critical acclaim in June 2023, is the group’s first studio album in more than 45 years.

Besides his award for Shakti, Hussain won two other awards — the Best Global Music Performance for “Pashto” and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for “As We Speak”.
The best global music performance category had eight nominees, including “Abundance In Millets”, a song by Falu and featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “Shadow Forces” by Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, and Shahzad Ismaily, and “Alone” by Burna Boy.

Rakesh Chaurasia, the nephew of legendary flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia, won two Grammys as part of the ensemble of American banjo player Bela Fleck and American bassist Edgar Meyer for “Pashto” and “As We Speak”.

In a post on X, the prime minister praised the five artists for making India proud at the Grammys, saying their “exceptional talent and dedication to music” had won hearts worldwide. “… These achievements are a testament to the hardwork you keep putting in. It will also inspire the new generation of artists to dream big and excel in music,” Modi said.

“Without love and music we are nothing,” Hussain said in his award acceptance speech for “Pashto”, one of the 12 songs in the fusion album “As We Speak”.

Mahadevan then dedicated the award to his wife and said: “I would like to dedicate this to my wife, to whom every note of my music is dedicated to”.

Images courtesy of X/@vijayjdarda and @DDNational

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