List of Indians who have won Grammy Awards till date: AR Rahman, Shankar Mahadevan and more
Presented below is a curated list of all the Indians who have won at the Grammy Awards so far and have made the country proud.
India, with its rich musical diversity and various music genres, has produced many talented artists. Despite Indian music often being underrated and overlooked at Western award shows, some exceptional Indian musicians have managed to break through social barriers and achieve success on the global stage, including at the Grammy Awards. Here is a compilation of Indians who have won Grammy Awards to date.
List of Indians who have won Grammy Awards so far:
1. Pandit Ravi Shankar
Pandit Ravi Shankar is a prominent figure among Indians who have been honored at the Grammys. He was an Indian sitarist and composer whose influence extended globally. Renowned as a sitar virtuoso, he significantly impacted musicians both in India and worldwide, particularly in the realm of North Indian classical music. In 1999, he was bestowed with India's highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna. Pandit Ravi Shankar, the late maestro of Indian classical music, secured a total of five Grammy Awards, making him the Indian with the highest number of Grammy wins. His accolades include a Lifetime Achievement Award and an Album of the Year Award.
2. Zubin Mehta
Zubin Mehta is an Indian conductor renowned in Western classical music. He holds the title of music director emeritus for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) and conductor emeritus for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mehta's early musical training came from his father, who established the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. Over his career, Zubin Mehta has earned five Grammy Awards and numerous nominations across various categories. In 1981, he received his first Grammy for his contribution to the Isaac Stern 60th Anniversary Celebration, winning in the Best Classical Performance – Instrumental Soloist(s) (With Orchestra). category. Additionally, he was honored with the Best Engineered Recording, Classical award for the same production in the same year.
3. TH Vinayakram
Vikku Vinayakram, also known as Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram, is an Indian percussionist. He’s also known as the Ghatam God. He is credited for popularising the ghatam, an earthen pot used to play Carnatic music. T. H. Vinakayaram is also the first South Indian musician to win a Grammy for Best World Music Album for his role as a ghatam and morsing player in Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum. He donated the entire prize money to a charitable organisation in southern India. For his work on Raga Aberi, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 1996, alongside L. Shankar on the ten-string double violin and Zakir Hussain on the tabla.
4. Zakir Hussain
Zakir Hussain is a versatile Indian artist known for his skills in tabla, acting, composing, percussion, and music production. He collaborated with American musician Mickey Hart on the world music CD Planet Drum, which was nominated for a Grammy. The album featured percussionists from around the globe, including Hussain, blending diverse musical styles and traditions. In 2008, Hussain won his second Grammy for his album Global Drum Project in the Best Contemporary World Music Album category. This album showcased a fusion of drumming, various instruments, vocal performances, and electronic elements.
5. Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt
Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt is a renowned Mohan Veena (slide guitar) player and Hindustani classical musician. He hails from a lineage of musicians tracing back to Tansen, the court musician of Mughal emperor Akbar, and his mentor, Hindu saint Swami Haridas Bhatt. Bhatt received a Grammy Award in 1993 for his collaboration with American artist Ry Cooder on the album A Meeting by the River in the Best World Music Album category, released by Water Lily Acoustics. Throughout his impressive career, Bhatt has engaged in fusion and cross-cultural musical projects with Western artists like Taj Mahal, Béla Fleck, and Jerry Douglas.
6. A.R. Rahman
Allah Rakha Rahman, an Indian film composer, record producer, vocalist, and songwriter, mainly works in Indian (especially Tamil and Hindi) and occasionally international cinema. Among his numerous awards are six National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, fifteen Filmfare Awards, and seventeen Filmfare Awards South. In 2008, Rahman won a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, alongside sound engineer H Sridhar and mix engineer and record producer PA Deepak. He also received another Grammy for the same film in the category of Best Song Written for Visual Media, which he shared with Tanvi Shah and Gulzar, the renowned lyricist, poet, playwright, and screenwriter. Rahman stands out as one of the notable Indians who have achieved success at the Grammys.
7. H Sridhar
H. Sridhar, also known as Sridhar Hariharan or H. Padmanabh, was an Indian sound engineer renowned for his collaborations with A. R. Rahman, an Indian musician. He served as the Chief Audio Engineer at Media Artists Chennai. Starting his career in 1988 with a background in mathematics, electronics, and formal music training, Sridhar worked in about 200 films with directors like Mani Ratnam, K Balachandar, Shankar, and others. He received a Grammy Award for his contribution to the film Slumdog Millionaire in the category of Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media.
8. P. A. Deepak
Another notable Indian who achieved success at the Grammys is P.A. Deepak, also known as Adrushta Deepak Pallikonda, who is a record producer and mix engineer. He won the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media in 2010 for his work on the film Slumdog Millionaire. Additionally, Deepak received a Certificate of Honour from The Song Academy in 2015 for his role as a Surround Mix Engineer on the Grammy Award-winning album Winds of Samsara, which was honored as the Best New Age Album at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
9. Tanvi Shah
Tanvi Shah is the first Indian woman to win a Grammy Award. Born in Tamil Nadu on December 1, 1985, she has contributed to Tamil, Hindi, and Telugu films, singing in Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, and other romance languages. Her debut song, Fanaa, was featured in the film Yuva. At the 52nd Grammy Awards, she shared the Best Song Written for Visual Media Grammy with A.R. Rahman and Gulzar for their song Jai Ho, for which she penned the Spanish lyrics. Additionally, she received the BMI Award in London in 2009 and the World Soundtrack Award in 2009, both shared with Rahman and Gulzar.
10. Neela Vaswani
Neela Vaswani is an Indian-American novelist residing in New York City. She gained recognition for her short story collection, Where the Long Grass Bends, published by Sarabande Books in 2004. Vaswani's writing, both fiction and nonfiction, has received acclaim, earning her the O. Henry Prize in 2006. In 2015, she won a Grammy Award for her narration of the audiobook adaptation of I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World, based on Malala Yousafzai's autobiography.
11. Ricky Kej
Ricky Kej, an Indian music composer and environmental advocate, has been honored with multiple Grammy Awards. He has performed in more than 30 countries, including prestigious venues like the United Nations offices in New York and Geneva. In 2015, Kej, along with Wouter Kellerman, a renowned South African flautist and composer, won their first Grammy Award for their collaborative album Winds of Samsara in the Best New Age Album category. Kej earned his second Grammy for his 14th studio album Divine Tides in the same category at the 2022 Grammy Awards, sharing the honor with American musician Stewart Copeland.
Indian-American singer Falguni Falu Shah won a Grammy for her album A Colourful World in the Best Children's Album category in 2022. Throughout her vibrant music career, Shah collaborated with global artists like Wyclef Jean, Philip Glass, Ricky Martin, Blues Traveler, and Yo-Yo Ma. She received training in the Jaipur musical tradition and the Banaras style of Thumri from the renowned sarangi and vocal master Ustad Sultan Khan. Previously, she worked with maestro AR Rahman on the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Shah was also a Grammy nominee in the same category in 2018 for her album Falu’s Bazaar. She is widely recognized as one of the notable musicians and among the renowned Indians who have won Grammy Awards.
13. Zakir Hussain
Zakir Hussain clinched the Best Global Music Performance Grammy for his work on Pashto alongside Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, featuring Rakesh Chaurasia, a skilled flute player. Chaurasia also received two awards that night. Hussain, aged 72, won in the Best Global Music Performance, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, and Best Global Music Album categories. The victory was for Pashto, a collaboration with American banjo player Béla Fleck, American bassist Edgar Meyer, and Indian flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, paying homage to Indian classical musicians performing with British imperial bands in early-20th-century India. Hussain's second Grammy of the night was for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, shared with Fleck, Meyer, and Chaurasia, for the unique classical-jazz fusion album, As We Speak. He also shared the win for Best Global Music Album for This Moment, the highly praised return of the groundbreaking world-fusion band Shakti.
14. Shankar Mahadevan
Shankar Mahadevan’s fusion band Shakti won the award for Best Global Music Album category with their latest release, This Moment. This accomplishment is particularly noteworthy because it marks the group's first new album in over 45 years. Shakti includes John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, percussionist V Selvaganesh, violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan, and vocalist Shankar Mahadevan. The album features eight fresh compositions by this talented lineup. Despite facing tough competition at the Grammys from artists like Susana Baca, Bokante, Burna Boy, and Davido, Shakti emerged victorious, earning the Grammy for Best Global Music Album. This victory highlights their lasting impact and global recognition for their unique musical blend.
15. Rakesh Chaurasia
Rakesh has drawn a lot of interest lately. As an Indian flautist, he bagged two awards at the ceremony: one for Best Contemporary Instrumental and the other for Best Global Music Performance. His contributions to the collaborative album As We Speak earned nominations in three categories: Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Best Instrumental Composition for Motion, and Best Global Music Performance for Pashto. Rakesh is the nephew of the renowned Indian classical flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia, and he is carrying forward the Chaurasia legacy. Given his strong musical heritage, his talent doesn't come as a surprise. While he has explored various musical avenues, his primary focus has always been to establish himself as a classical musician.