Meet Shakti, Shankar Mahadevan-Zakir Hussain’s Band That Won Grammys

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Published By: Shrishti Negi

Last Updated: February 05, 2024, 09:17 IST

Shakti won Best Global Music Album at the 2024 Grammys.

Founded in 1973 by jazz guitarist John McLaughlin in collaboration with traditional Indian musicians, the band played a crucial role in expanding musical boundaries.

In a remarkable comeback, the reunited Shakti band has won the prestigious title of Best Global Music Album at the 2024 Grammys for their latest release, This Moment. This achievement holds immense significance as it marks the group’s first album in over 45 years. The album comprises eight new tracks composed by John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan, V Selvaganesh and Ganesh Rajagopalan. Facing tough competition from artists like Susana Baca, Bokante, Burna Boy, and Davido, Shakti emerged victorious at the Grammys, securing the top spot. Interestingly, the album, released in 2023, took a unique turn during production, as each member of the band recorded their parts separately from their respective home cities.

Who is Shakti?

Shakti stands as a revolutionary fusion band that perfectly combines Indian classical music with jazz. Founded in 1973 by jazz guitarist John McLaughlin in collaboration with traditional Indian musicians, the band played a crucial role in expanding musical boundaries beyond Western traditions. Led by the iconic Indian violinist L Shankar, the band also featured renowned musicians such as guitarist tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, Vikku Vinayakram and later, percussionist Vikku Vinayakram’s son, V Selvaganesh, came together.

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Meanwhile, the original band members disbanded in 1978, to follow their own highly successful solo careers for two decades. In the late ’90s, the band was reformed with Shankar Mahadevan on vocals, U Srinivas on the mandolin and Selvaganesh Vinayakram, alongside John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain. During this period, Shakti produced several prominent and hit albums, including the groundbreaking Shakti in 1976, followed by A Handful of Beauty in 1977 and Natural Elements.

Last year, Shakti marked their 50th Anniversary with a massive tour across 27 cities. The tour, including 17 performances in the United States, featured special solo opening acts by top artists like Jerry Douglas, Bill Frisell, Béla Fleck and John Scofield.

Alongside Shakti, India’s Rakesh Chaurasia also won two awards, Global Music Performance and Contemporary Instrumental Album the 2024 Grammys. On the other hand, Miley Cyrus achieved a significant milestone as she secured her first ever Grammy award for Best Pop Solo Performance with her hit Flowers. She competed against strong contenders such as Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, and Taylor Swift.

Shrishti NegiShrishti Negi is a journalist with over eight years of experience in the media industry. She leads the Entertainment desk at News18.com. She writes br…Read More

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