Where: Los Angeles, USA

January 31, 2010 : A.R. Rahman, one of India’s most well-loved music composers, won international recognition with two Grammy awards. Last year, he had won the Oscar for his music in the hit film Slumdog Millionaire. This year, he had his first Grammy win. He picked up two awards: one for the ‘best compilation soundtrack for a motion picture’ (Slumdog Millionaire) and the other for ‘Best Motion Picture Song’ for the song ‘Jai Ho’ from the same film. In the best song category Rahman beat singer Bruce Springsteen and his song ‘The Wrestler’ from the movie of the same name. The modest Rahman said, “This is insane, God is great again”.

A.R.Rahman is a composer, music producer, musician and singer. His music scores and film songs changed the character of popular music in India in the early 1990s. Rahman’s music completely dissolved the divide between ‘Indian’ and ‘Western’ categories. He popularised classical as well as experimental music. Rahman also discovered many young musicians and singers.

Interestingly, two other Indian artistes were nominated for Grammys this year. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, India’s most well known sarod player, was nominated in the Best Traditional World Music Album category for his album “Ancient Sounds”. Zakir Hussain, the famous Tabla maestro, was nominated in the Best Classical Crossover Album category for his album “The Melody of Rhythm”. Zakir Husain had won a Grammy last year. The other Indians who have won Grammys in the past are Pandit Ravi Shankar, Vikku Vinayakram and Vishvamohan Bhatt.

The Grammy Awards came into being in 1958. These music awards are presented every year by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the USA. They were originally named the ‘Gramophone Awards’. The gramophone was the first invention that could record and replay sound. It was widely used through most of the twentieth century.

Related Links
Read about Rahman’s Oscar here