Exactly 60 days after his death, sitar legend Pandit Ravi Shankar received the Lifetime Achievement Grammy award, which was jointly accepted by his daughters, sitarist Anoushka Shankar and singer-songwriter Norah Jones.
Pt Ravi Shankar also won the Best World Music Album award for The Living Room Sessions Part 1, beating daughter Anoushka who was nominated in the same category for her album Traveller.
Anoushka and Norah attended the pre-Grammy ceremony at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre to accept the awards for their father, who passed away on December 11, 2012 at the age of 92. “We know he was very excited to be receiving this award. We really miss him. He lived and breathed music. he was tapping out rhythms on the breakfast table and making me do five over seven… I am still trying to get it. We are very happy to accept the award for him,” said nine-time Grammy winner Norah, 33.
“It was 60 days ago today that he passed away. It’s kind of difficult to be standing up here, like Norah said, I am thrilled that he knew about this award before he passed away at least. But I wish we weren’t standing up here for him,” said Anoushka, 31, who has accompanied her father at concerts all around the world.
“I want to say thanks to my mom… He did his last performance just a few weeks before he died and I believe she was the reason he was able to be as healthy and strong as he was. I am eternally grateful to her for that. “My father always said that music could create world peace because it had the potential to raise the consciousness of people… When I watched him play what moved me was this incredible meditative state where he could take people,” she added.
Anoushka signed off with an anecdote about how Pt Ravi Shankar once forgot his Grammy at a friends place and couldn’t find it. His wife Sukanya called up the Recording Academy to find out if they could make a copy and was asked which one she wanted a copy of.
“She said ‘What do you mean which Grammy?’. It turns out he had won two and just didn’t know it. That was the kind of musician he was. He went on to win a third, and today he gets this incredible honor. Music was the be all and end all of his life and I am very grateful to the Academy for recognizing that,” she said.
Three-time Grammy winner Pt Ravi Shankar is credited with introducing Indian classical music to the West. He was a profound influence on The Beatles, The Byrds and numerous other rock artists.
Pt Ravi Shankar, along with George Harrison, organised the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, which paved the way for many other fundraising charity concerts.
With PTI inputs