MUMBAI (Reuters) - Sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar posthumously won the Grammy for best world music album on Sunday, beating his daughter Anoushka and three other nominees on the music industry’s biggest night.
Shankar, who died in December at 92, won his fourth Grammy with the album “The Living Room Sessions Part 1”. Sitar player Anoushka had been nominated in the same category for her album “Traveller”.
Shankar, who helped introduce the sitar to the Western world through his collaboration with The Beatles, was honoured with a lifetime achievement accolade on the eve of Sunday’s Grammy awards in Los Angeles.
Shankar’s daughters, Anoushka and Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones, accepted the lifetime award.
“When I watched him play, he could take people to this incredible meditative state where they’d close their eyes and just cry and get in touch with something more important,” Anoushka said.
Before his wins this year, Shankar had won three Grammy awards — in 1967, 1972 and 2001.
Shankar is credited with popularizing Indian music through his work with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and The Beatles in the late 1960s, inspiring George Harrison to learn the sitar and the British band to record songs like “Norwegian Wood” (1965) and “Within You, Without You” (1967).
His friendship with Harrison led him to appearances at the Monterey and Woodstock pop festivals in the late 1960s, and the 1972 Concert for Bangladesh, becoming one of the first Indian musicians to become a household name in the West.
His influence in classical music, including on composer Philip Glass, was just as large. His work with Menuhin on their “West Meets East” albums in the 1960s and 1970s earned them a Grammy, and he wrote concertos for sitar and orchestra for both the London Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.
Shankar earned multiple honours in his long career, including an Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth for services to music, the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, and the French Legion d’honneur.
Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Tony Tharakan