India at the Grammy Awards 2024 shines by showcasing its musical mastery. Five acclaimed Indian musicians, including tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and flutist Rakesh Chaurasia bagged the prestigious Academy award at the glamorous ceremony in Los Angeles. Ustad Zakir Hussain emerged to be India’s top performer, clinching three awards, while Pandit Rakesh Chaurasia garnered two accolades.
One of the main highlights at the ceremony was the band, ‘Shakti’. It includes tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, acclaimed singer/music director Shankar Mahadevan, violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram. It collectively won the Academy award for the ‘Best Global Music Album’. The album is called ‘This Moment’. In its acceptance speech, Shankar Mahadevan thanked God, his parents, friends, and the whole of India. He also dedicated the award to his wife, who he considers to be his greatest musical inspiration.
The album ‘This Moment’ was released on June 30th 2023 featuring eight songs. The band comprises guitarist John McLaughlin on the guitar and synth, Zakir Hussain on the table, Shankar Mahadevan on the vocals, V. Selvaganesh on percussion, and Ganesh Rajagopalan on the violin. The other nominees for the award were Susana Baca, Bokante, Burna Boy, and Davido.
Ustad Zakir Hussain also secured a Grammy for ‘best global music performance’ for his contribution to ‘Pashto’ alongside Bela Fleck, and Edgar Meyer and featuring Rakesh Chaurasia. Ustad ji got three awards while Pandit Rakesh Chaurasia bagged two. In total of five, the Indian wall of glory and fame is now sparkling with the most coveted Gramophones of world music.
On the next day, the Indian Prime Minister congratulated ‘Shakti’ for their victory and called the award a ‘phenomenal success’. The Prime Minister, said ‘’your exceptional talent and dedication to music have won hearts worldwide. India is proud. These awards are a testament to the hard work you keep putting in.’’ He also thanked the musicians for creating an exemplary example for younger musicians and inspiring them to such an extent.
Upon his arrival at the Mumbai airport post the award ceremony, Shankar Mahadevan, received a rousing welcome not just by his friends and family but also by media personnel and a host of audiences, just to congratulate him. The singer/composer was also seen distributing chocolates to the media personnel and saying ‘’these are for you all.’’ He also kept handling chocolates to everyone on his way to the airport exit.
The Grammy’s 2024 has indeed been a great year for Indian musicians and all the other youngsters to look up and keep moving forward. Above all, the Indian musicians have proved that hard work and dedication can make any barrier seem futile. Furthermore, discipline, believing in one’s own abilities and always having the desire to learn and discover new boundaries are extremely necessary for such worldwide success and acclamation. All of India is now hoping to frequently keep winning Grammy’s and other Academy awards in the future as well.