Indian-American musician Falguni Shah, Bengaluru-based music composer and environmentalist Ricky Kej, and New York-based Pakistani vocalist Arooj Aftab were some of the South Asian links to the 64th Annual Grammy Awards that took place at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas yesterday.
Falguni Shah, known by her stage name Falu, was feted with the honour for Best Children’s Music Album for her album A Colorful World. She received her early training in music under the legendary sarangi and vocal master Ustad Sultan Khan in Mumbai and has also worked with A R Rahman on Slumdog Millionaire (2008).
In her acceptance speech at the awards, she said, “Who would have thought that having my mother sing an old children’s lullaby from India would get a response from parents in America?”
Meanwhile music composer Ricky Kej won his second Grammy for his New Age album Divine Tides along with Stewart Copeland, founder and drummer of the legendary rock band, The Police.
The qualified dentist-turned-composer, who has also done ad jingles and written the scores of many Kannada films, greeted the audience with a namaste as he took the stage to accept the award.
In 2015, he won his first Grammy for his album Winds of Samsara when none other than the celebrated Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer congratulated him.
The award for Best Global Performance went to 37-year-old Arooj Aftab. Her winning song “Mohabbat” combines folk and jazz music with Sufi influences.
In 2015, Aftab sang the title song for Meghna Gulzar’s thriller drama, Talvar. She was also nominated for the Best New Artist award, although she lost in the category to 19-year-old Olivia Rodrigo.
Also attending the 64th Annual Grammy Awards was music maestro A R Rahman, who took to his social media to share pictures of himself with his son AR Ameen at the ceremony.
However, some Indian music lovers were surprised to find that Indian playback singer Lata Mangeshkar was omitted from the ceremony’s ‘In Memoriam’ section. The singer, who died on February 6, 2022, had a music career that spanned more than 70 years. Other musical talents mentioned in the ‘In Memoriam’ section at the ceremony included Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, and rock singer Meat Loaf.