Music is a universal language that brings people together, transcending culture and borders. India has an incredibly diverse population of more than 1 billion people, represented in its rich musical heritage. Indian music has gained worldwide recognition, with many artists capturing Grammy Awards—the most prestigious awards in the recording industry. The Recording Academy celebrates the Grammy Awards annually to recognize outstanding achievements within the music industry. In this blog post, we’ll explore some Indian Grammy Award Winners. From classical virtuosos to modern-day hitmakers, you’ll learn about their captivating stories and discover why they have become such lauded figures in Indian and international music circles.
Let’s look at all these innovative artists who made history in recognition of their outstanding work!
1. Ravi Shankar
Pandit Ravi Shankar was renowned for his virtuosic sitar-playing and North Indian classical musical stylings. He was also a prominent cultural ambassador from India during the second half of the 20th century. Five Grammy Awards have recognized his unparalleled influence on musicians across India and worldwide.
Ravi Shankar is one of the most distinguished Indian Grammy Award winners. He has won four Grammys for his innovative and groundbreaking music. His career skyrocketed to international recognition in 1968 after he won a Best Chamber Music Performance award for his composition, West Meets East. He then went on to win Album of the Year for his work The Concert for Bangladesh in 1973. His 2002 win was for Best World Music Album with Full Circle: Carnegie Hall 2000 and in 2013 he won the Lifetime Achievement Award as well as Best World Music Album with The Living Room Sessions Pt. 1.
2. Zubin Mehta
Maestro Zubin Mehta has achieved unparalleled success in the Western classical music world. In 1981, Zubin made history by becoming the first Indian to win a Grammy Award for his involvement with Isaac Stern’s 60th Anniversary Celebration. His exemplary performance earned him two awards in separate categories: Best Classical Performance – Instrumental Soloist(s) (With Orchestra) and Best Engineered Recording, Classical, cementing Zubin as an iconic figure of music engineering excellence.
3. Vikku Vinayakram
Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram was a renowned musician from South India, known for his virtuosic mastery of the ghatam and mridangam percussion instruments. His mastery of playing Carnatic music using an earthen pot (ghatam) has led to his widespread recognition and fame as one of India’s musical greats. He attained unprecedented honor when he became the initial South Indian musician to gain a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album with Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum in 1991. He showed his benevolent spirit by donating all his monetary winnings to charity in southern India.
4. Zakir Hussain
The Recording Academy recently presented Zakir Hussain, an award-winning Indian tabla virtuoso, with a Grammy. He has been experimenting and honing his craft in the traditional fusion genre for years.
In 1991, T. H. Vinayakram and he won the Best World Music Album Grammy Award for their work on Planet Drum. In 2008, they earned a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album with Global Drum Project. He has been widely acclaimed for his remarkable contributions to world music, and he is the proud recipient of numerous awards throughout the span of his career.
5. Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt
Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt is one of India’s most renowned Indian Grammy Award Winners. He is internationally acclaimed for his mastery over the Mohan Veena, an instrument he created by combining the fretless Hawaiian guitar and the Indian Sarod.
1992 was an excellent year for music, as it released several fantastic albums, including Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s Planet Drum. This album won Best World Music Album at the 1992 Grammy Awards, and it is clear to see why when listening to the beautiful melodies on this record. With its combination of traditional Hindustani classical music and Western folk influences, Planet Drum is a truly unique album that stands out as one of the best world music albums.
6. A.R. Rahman
Allah Rakha Rahman is an internationally renowned artist, having achieved immense success in both the Indian and international movie industries. He has accumulated a vast collection of awards, including six National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammys Awards, a BAFTA Award, 15 Filmfare Awards, and 17 South Filmfare Awards, to name just a few! In 2008 he won the Grammy award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album alongside H Sridhar and PA Deepak, Best Song Written for Visual Media, and lyricist Tanvi Shah & Gulzar. Working across Tamil, Hindi & foreign languages further strengthens his impressive portfolio.
H. Sridhar made a name for himself in the Indian film industry with his remarkable audio engineering and mixer work. He was known to have collaborated closely with prolific composer A R Rahman and earned critical acclaim in 2008 when they jointly won a Grammy award.
Throughout his career, H Sridhar worked on some of the most successful films directed by Indian filmmakers Mani Ratnam, K Balachandar, and Ramgopal Varma. He was responsible for mixing audio for more than 200 films, and his work is still remembered as some of the best in the industry.
8. P.A. Deepak
P.A. Deepak has significantly contributed to the music industry as a highly acclaimed Indian record producer and mixing engineer.
He has won two prestigious awards for his outstanding achievements- The Grammy Award for “Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media” in 2010 and the 2015 Certificate of Honour from The Song Academy. This award honored him with recognition of excellence on the recording Winds of Samsara – which went on to win Best New Age Album at that year’s Grammys.
Deepak, A. R. Rahman and H. Sridhar praised highly by audiences for creating a compilation soundtrack album for Slumdog Millionaire. This album was Deepak’s primary creation.
9. Tanvi Shah
Tanvi Shah is an accomplished and highly-acclaimed composer and singer from India. Having grown up in Tamil Nadu, Tanvi has produced music across multiple genres – from Hindi to Arabic – since releasing her debut song “Fanaa” for Yuva. Her making history highlighted her entry into the international music scene by becoming the first woman from India to receive a Grammy Award at the 52nd Grammy Awards ceremony. Her other accolades include The BMI Award (2009 London) and World Soundtrack Award (in conjunction with AR Rahman & Gullar).
10. Neela Vaswani
Neela Vaswani is an accomplished and award-winning author, editor, poet, and educator. Her writing and editing work has been published in various anthologies, magazines, journals, and newspapers. Vaswani also has several books to her name, including Ice Cream on the Plate (2009), a YA novel set in India; a poetry collection titled What the Fortune Teller Didn’t Say (2004); and a children’s book, Maya Running (2009). In addition to her writing and editing work, Vaswani is an accomplished public speaker. She has presented at various conferences and festivals on gender equity, cultural identity, literature for young adults, etc. She also regularly gives presentations to colleges and universities.
Vaswani has received numerous awards for her work, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship from the United States in 2000 and an Arts Council England International Fellowship in 2004. In 2015, Vaswani was honored with a Grammy Award for her narration of I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World, written by Malala Yousafzai.
11. Ricky Kej
Ricky Kej is a world-renowned music composer and environmentalist from India. He has released several Grammy Award-winning albums, such as Winds of Samsara and Divine Tides. His success has taken him to perform in over 30 countries, including the United Nations New York and Geneva offices. In addition to his musical achievements, Ricky Kej is also a passionate environmentalist. He has committed to using his music and fame to raise awareness about the Earth’s sustainability and climate change. In 2017, he founded World Music Day India, which aims to spread awareness of the importance of protecting our planet through music.
Falguni ‘Falu’ Shah is an internationally renowned Indian-American singer who has worked with some of the biggest names in music. She is a trained vocalist and sarangi player in traditional Jaipur and Banaras styles. In 2018, Falu was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Children’s Album category. In 2022, she won the award for her album A Colourful World. She has collaborated with many renowned musicians, such as Wyclef Jean, Philip Glass, Ricky Martin, Blues Traveler, Yo-Yo Ma, and AR Rahman on Slumdog Millionaire, which went on to win an Oscar. Falguni Shah is one of the celebrated Indians to have won a Grammy Award, and she continues to make waves in the music industry.
Indians are continuously overcoming barriers to achieve greatness in the global music industry. We honor those who have won Grammys for their hard-earned success. We salute them as shining examples of India’s musical excellence worldwide.
Congratulate these inspiring individuals for their outstanding achievements! Join us in the journey towards making India an international hub for music excellence. Let’s create a new generation of award-winning artists from India!
Also check our blog Famous Carnatic Musicians.