Ustad Zakir Hussain Brings Home 3 Grammy Awards For 2024

It's a historic win for Indian musicians At The Grammys 2024, and not just for tabla maestro Zakir Hussain but also prolific composer Shankar Mahadevan who join prominent Indian musicians to win big at global categories.

Published On Feb 05, 2024 | Updated On Feb 20, 2024

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Ustad Zakir Hussain is having a fabulous Monday and so are we! Picking up three awards in one night, the tabla veteran joined other musicians from India to win big at the annual award show. Also stepping on the stage to pick up his first Grammy was Shankar Mahadevan, the singer and composer we’ve known and loved for decades. It was a big win for Indian music maestros showcasing the growing popularity and reach for Indian Classical Music in the West. The Grammys are known to recognise artistic excellence in music, and their global categories fetch the most influential names from all over the world. And winning some major categories, our artists added another feat to their already iconic and prestigious music career.  

Let’s take a quick look at the trophies the artists bagged. Ustad Zakir Hussain emerged as a triumphant figure with three Grammy wins, securing victories in the categories of Best Global Music Performance, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, and Best Global Music. 

Flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, a magician with the bansuri, won two awards alongside Hussain. Béla Fleck and Edgar Meyer joined the winners' circle, securing the Best Global Music Performance accolade for their composition featured in Pashto triumphing over the performance of Abundance of Millets by Indian American singer Falguni Shah and her husband Gaurav Shah, which notably featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Additionally, Hussain, Chaurasia, Fleck, and Meyer clinched the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album award for As We Speak. The fusion band Shakti, featuring Hussain, vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, guitarist John McLaughlin, percussionist V Selvaganesh, and violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan, claimed the Best Global Music award for their album This Moment. A fusion band originating in 1973, the band went through multiple reforms before McLaughlin and Hussain formed ‘Remember Shakti’ in 1997, and in 2020, the original Shakti band reunited, releasing their first album in 46 years, titled This Moment

If you haven't already, it'll be a good day to do a listening session with your fellow Indian classical aficionados. 

While Shakti present a masterclass in Indian Classical fusion music, Hussain and his collaborators showcase thought-provoking lyrics and impeccable technique with Indian classical instruments in their work. As a fan of soothing instrumentals myself, As We Speak has already become a mainstay in my Spotify “Work Playlist” and is sure to charm even the most novice listeners of Indian Classical music. The Grammy win for our masterful composers is a win to the genre too, which often struggles to find young listeners in their home country as well. And with the Grammy Awards courting controversy for years for favouring popular picks over truly deserving ones, the global categories might help the Recording Academy save face this year around. And regardless of the social media discourse about the wins, the joy and mirth among Indian artists and having their work celebrated among peers is something we're going to obsess over all day!


Photo: Instagram/Shati50tour

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