New Delhi: It was a moment of glory for Indian music as Shakti, the fusion band led by singer Shankar Mahadevan and tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, won the Best Global Music Album award at the 66th Grammy Awards for their album ‘This Moment’. The album, which features eight tracks blending Indian classical music with jazz, was released in 2023 after a gap of 46 years since the band’s last album. The award ceremony was held at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday night (Monday morning in India).
Shankar Mahadevan and violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan received the trophy on stage, while Zakir Hussain and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram joined them via video call. Mahadevan dedicated the award to his wife, saying, “Thank you, boys. Thank you, God, family, friends, and India. We are proud of you India. Last but not least, I would like to dedicate this award to my wife whom every note of my music is dedicated to.”
The band also received congratulatory messages from fellow musicians and celebrities, including Ricky Cage, who shared a video on his official X (formerly known as Twitter) account, praising the band for their achievement. He wrote, “4 brilliant Indian musicians won Grammy Awards through this album!! Just amazing. India is shining in every direction. Shankar Mahadevan, Selvaganesh Vinayakram, Ganesh Rajagopalan, Ustad Zakir Hussain. Ustad Zakir Hussain won his second Grammy along with excellent flute player Rakesh Chaurasia. Fabulous!!!! #IndiaWinsGrammys.”
Zakir Hussain, who had previously won a Grammy in 2020 for his album ‘Global Drum Project’, also bagged another Grammy this year for his collaboration with Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer on the album ‘Pashto’, which featured flautist Rakesh Chaurasia. The album won the Best Global Music Performance award.
Shakti was not the only Indian winner at the Grammys this year. Composer Ricky Kej, who won a Grammy in 2015 for his album ‘Winds of Samsara’, won his second Grammy for his album ‘Shanti Samsara: World Music for Environmental Consciousness’, which won the Best New Age Album award. The album featured over 500 musicians from over 40 countries, including India, and aimed to raise awareness about environmental issues.
The Grammys also witnessed some stellar performances and wins by international artists, such as Taylor Swift, who won her 13th Grammy for her album ‘Evermore’, which won the Album of the Year award. Miley Cyrus won her first Grammy for her song ‘Flowers’, which won the Best Pop Solo Performance award. Olivia Rodrigo won four Grammys, including Record of the Year and Best New Artist, for her debut album ‘Sour’. Lana Del Rey won two Grammys, including Song of the Year, for her song ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’.
The Grammy Awards are presented by the Recording Academy of the United States to honor artistic and technical excellence in the music industry. The awards are considered the most prestigious and coveted in the music world. The 66th Grammy Awards were hosted by comedian Trevor Noah for the fourth consecutive time.