Ricky Kej, the Bengaluru-based Indian music composer, won his second Grammy award in the Best New Age Album category for Divine Tides at the 64th edition of the Grammys. The event held on Sunday also saw Bruno Mars-led Silk Sonic, Jon Batiste, and Olivia Rodrigo win the top honours.
Kej had received his first Grammy award in 2015, for his album Winds of Samsara.
In an Instagram post, after his win, Kej wrote, “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.”
Mars bagged the two top prizes, namely Record of the Year and Song of the Year for Leave The Door Open.
Batiste, who was the most nominated artist this year, took home the Album of the Year Grammy for We Are, as well as four other awards.
While accepting his golden gramophone, Batiste said, “I believe this to my core — there is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor. The creative arts are subjective and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most.”
“This is for real artists, real musicians. Let’s just keep going,” Batiste added. The singer beat Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, HER, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Taylor Swit, Kanye West or Ye, and Rodrigo, to win the award.
Rodrigo, who made her Grammy debut, bagged three awards: Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance for Drivers License, and Best Pop Vocal Album for Sour.
Accepting her first Grammy of the evening, for Best New Artist, Rodrigo said, “This is my biggest dream come true.”
Arooj Aftab became the first Pakistani woman to win a Grammy, for the Best Global Music Performance for her song Mohabbat. Aftab was also nominated alongside Rodrigo, in the Best New Artist category.
The event, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Los Angeles, was hosted by Trevor Noah. It is to be noted that the Grammys was supposed to be held in January, but was rescheduled owing to a spike in Covid-19 cases.
The 64th Grammys was attended by a host of members from the music community and past winners, including Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and brother Finneas O’ Connell. However, some popular artists, such as Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, The Weekend, and Rapper Drake, skipped the event.
The band Foo Fighters bagged three Grammys, for Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song, but did not attend the event due to the recent death of band-member and drummer Taylor Hawkins.
Tribute was paid to Hawkins in the Grammys’ In Memoriam segment, alongside Sidney Poitier and Peter Bogdanovich, among others.
While the Recording Academy’s video tribute did not feature Indian music legends like Lata Mangeshkar and Bappi Lahiri, they were mentioned on the Grammy website. Other Indian musicians who found a mention in the list were Abhijit Bandyopadhyay, percussionist Badal Roy, Alleppey Ranganath, Amarendra Mohanty, Bhaskar Menon, lyricists Bichu Thirumala and Dev Tharikewala, vocalist Damodar Hota, poet Ibrahim Ashk, singer Jagjit Kaur, and Lalith Anand, among several others.
Actor Rachel Zegler and Leslie Odom Junior were among those who performed at the event. Other performers of the evening included Bieber, Lil Nas X, Eilish and brother O’Connell, Batiste, and BTS.
It is notable that the K-pop boy band BTS did not win a single Grammy despite giving one of the biggest hits of 2021, with Butter. The seven-member band had earlier become the first-ever Asian group to win Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards, last year. They were nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the Grammys, for the second consecutive year, but lost the title to Doja Cat.