“Thank you boys and thank you god, family, friends and India."
It was a good night for India at the Grammy Awards as Shakti won ‘Global Music Album’ for This Moment, their first studio release in 46 years.
Formed in 1973, the fusion band was a collaboration between Indian violinist L Shankar, percussionists Zakir Hussain and Vikku Vinayakram, as well as English guitarist John McLaughlin.
The group became known for their blend of jazz and Indian music.
Their albums A Handful of Beauty and Natural Elements were released in 1976 and 1977 respectively.
The band toured extensively during the mid-1970s but afterwards, Shakti’s line-up changed and only made a handful of appearances afterwards.
In 1997, McLaughlin and Hussain formed a similar band under the name Remember Shakti.
But in 2020, Shakti reformed.
This Moment was released in June 2023 and marks the band’s first studio album since 1977.
The record features founding members McLaughlin and Hussain, as well as vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram, son of Vikku.
Shakti beat stiff competition to win the Grammy, including the likes of Burna Boy and Davido.
Mahadevan, Vinayakram and Rajagopalan collected the award.
In his acceptance speech, Mahadevan said:
“Thank you boys and thank you god, family, friends and India.
“We are proud of you India. Last but not least, I’d like to dedicate this award to my wife whom every note of my music is dedicated to.”
Noting that John McLaughlin could not attend the ceremony, he added:
“We miss you, John-ji. And Zakir Hussain, he just had another Grammy win.”
At the awards ceremony, Zakir Hussain won a further two awards.
The tabla player won ‘Contemporary Instrumental Album’ for As We Speak, which was also created by Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Rakesh Chaurasia.
Their song ‘Pashto’ also won ‘Best Global Music Performance’.
On social media, the Grammy wins are being celebrated, with composer Ricky Kej tweeting:
“Ustad Zakhir Hussain, the living legend creates history by winning 3 Grammys in one night!!!”
In another tweet, he said: “SHAKTI wins a GRAMMY! Through this album 4 brilliant Indian musicians win Grammys!! Just amazing. India is shining in every direction.
“Shankar Mahadevan, Selvaganesh Vinayakram, Ganesh Rajagopalan, Ustad Zakhir Hussain. Ustad Zakhir Hussain won a second Grammy along with virtuoso flute player Rakesh Chaurasia. Brilliant!”
Businesswoman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw wrote:
“Hearty congratulations to Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain and other members of their band Shakti for winning the Best Global Music Album award for This Moment.”