A Mumbai-born singer went to the US and made her career in music, while the other, born in the US, moved back to India, the country of his parents’ birth. The ‘crossover’ stars Falguni Shah and Rickey Kej have now won their respective Grammy Awards.
At the 64th Annual Grammy Awards held on Sunday night in Las Vegas, Kej earned his second coveted gramophone trophy in the best new album category for Divine Tides, his collaboration with The Police drummer Stewart Copeland.
Shah, a New York-based Indian singer known by her stage name Falu, won her first Grammy Award for A Colorful World in the best children’s album category.
Rickey Kej, who is now based out of Bengaluru, won his first Grammy in 2015 in the best new age album category for Winds of Samsara.
The North Carolina-born musician greeted the audiences with a namaste when he took the stage with Copeland to receive the prestigious award.
“So grateful to have won the Grammy Award for our album Divine Tides. Absolutely love this living-legend standing next to me – Stewart Copeland. Love all of you too! This is my 2nd Grammy Award and Stewart’s 6th,” Kej wrote alongside a picture with Copeland in a post on Instagram.
Falguni Shah also took to Instagram to thank the Recording Academy, which conducts the Grammys, for the win.
“I have no words to describe today’s magic. What an honor to perform for the opening number of the GRAMMY Premier Ceremony, and then take home a statue on behalf of all the incredible people who worked on A Colorful World. We are humbled and thank the Recording Academy for this tremendous recognition. THANK YOU! (sic)” the Mumbai-born singer wrote.
Shah moved to the US in 2000 and her subsequent career there has led her to collaborate with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Wyclef Jean, Philip Glass, Ricky Martin, Blues Traveler and AR Rahman, among others
Two-time Grammy winner AR Rahman also made a splash at the Grammys red carpet with his son and playback singer AR Ameen.
The 55-year-old music composer shared photos from the event on Twitter. On the other hand, Ameen posted some pictures on his Instagram page.
The 19-year-old met Jimin, a member of the South Korean music sensation BTS, and shared a selfie with him. In another photo, Ameen can be seen hanging with other members of the music group.
BTS were nominated for their English single “Butter” in the best pop group/duo performance category, but lost out to Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More”, alongside featured artist SZA.
Indian rapper-songwriter Divine was also in attendance at the Grammys where he made his red carpet debut.
Not just India, but neighbouring country Pakistan also made a mark for itself at the event.
Brooklyn-based Pakistani vocalist Arooj Aftab won a Grammy Award for her song “Mohabbat” in the best global music performance category making her the “first ever female Pakistani GRAMMY winner”, according to the Recording Academy.
“Oh my gosh. I am so proud of this moment personally, but also for the industry itself… tonight we celebrated music as a collective, unapologetically making what we want to make in all its genre-less limitless crossover glory,” Aftab wrote on Instagram.
The Recording Academy was criticised for leaving out melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, one of India’s bright musical stars, from its In Memoriam segment.
Mangeshkar, the voice of generations of Indians, died on January 6 due to multiple organ failure. She was 92.
The apparent oversight at the Grammys comes barely a week after the Academy Awards did not include the music icon in its homage segment.
Mangeshkar’s absence from the tribute section of the 2022 Grammys ceremony, left her fans disappointed with many taking to Twitter to criticise the Recording Academy.
Calling out the Grammys for honouring only American music, a user said the event felt “futile and insignificant”.
Another said not just Mangeshkar, the Grammys also left out veteran music composer Bappi Lahiri (69). Lahiri died on January 15.
At the ceremony, while BTS didn’t register a win for a second time, the septet made heads turn courtesy their first in-person stage act at the event.
From Jungkook swooping down from the ceiling to J-Hope getting back to the choreography after almost tripping on the stage, the group owned the stage with the performance of “Butter”. In another viral moment, fellow member V was seen whispering in new artist Grammy winner Olivia Rodrigo’s ear.
It was announced last week that Jungkook had tested positive for Covid-19, but recovered in time for the Grammys.
Singer Jon Batiste emerged as the biggest winner of the evening by taking home the album of the year trophy for We Are. He won five awards out of 11 nominations.
Besides best new artist, teen pop sensation Rodrigo also earned trophies for best pop vocal album and best pop solo performance categories.
Music duo Silk Sonic, comprising singer Bruno Mars and rapper-singer Anderson, bagged record of the year and song of the year trophies for “Leave the Door Open”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an appearance at the Grammys via a video message to ask for support from the global music industry in telling the story of Ukraine’s invasion by Russia. Zelenskyy likened the invasion to a deadly silence threatening to extinguish the dreams and lives of the Ukrainian people, including children.
“Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story. Tell the truth about the war on your social networks, on TV, support us in any way you can any, but not silence,” Zelenskyy said.
Prior to the ceremony, the Recording Academy, with its partner Global Citizen, highlighted a social media campaign called ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ to raise money and support for the country.
Following Zelenskyy’s appeal, singer John Legend performed his song “Free” with Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton, and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.
The Grammys, hosted by Trevor Noah for the second consecutive time, was earlier scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on January 31, but the event was postponed amid the surge in Covid-19 cases.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism