Anoushka Shankar

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Anoushka Shankar is a British-Indian sitarist, composer, and prominent practitioner of Indian classical music. She is the daughter of Pandit Ravi Shankar, the renowned sitar maestro of India. Her musical expertise has garnered her six Grammy nominations and the Songlines Best Artist Award, among other honors. Born in London, England, she began studying music at age seven from her father, whom she regarded as her mentor. On the occasion of her father’s 75th birthday, she gave her first public sitar performance at age thirteen in Siri Fort, New Delhi. She issued her debut album ‘Anoushka’ at age 17. After two years, she published the album ‘Anurag’. To date, she has released a total of nine albums. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Royal Festival Hall, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts over the course of her career. In addition to her musical talents, Anoushka Shankar is renowned for her activism. She and her father were both active members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). She wrote the biography ‘Bapi: The Love of My Life’ about her father, Ravi Shankar. She is also a columnist for the publications First City’ and ‘Hindustan Times.’

Youth and Early Life

Anoushka Shankar was born in London, England on June 9, 1981. Her father was the internationally renowned Sitar virtuoso Pandit Ravi Shankar, and her mother is Sukanya Shankar. Through her father, Anoushka has a half-sister named Norah Jones and a half-brother who passed away in 1992 named Shubhendra Shankar.

When she was just seven years old, her father began teaching her how to play the sitar. Anoushka attended San Dieguito High School Academy in California for her secondary education. After completing her undergraduate degree, she decided to pursue a career in music instead of continuing her education.

Anoushka Shankar’s Career

Anoushka Shankar gave her first public performance on her father’s 75th birthday, February 27, 1995. The performance took place in New Delhi’s Siri Fort. She was accompanied by Zakir Hussain, a renowned tabla master. The following year, she also began accompanying her father in his worldwide concerts.

Her first album, “Anoushka,” was published in 1998, and her second album, “Anourag,” was released in 2000. Her 2001 release of the album ‘Live at Carnegie Hall’ earned her a nomination for the ‘Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. She was the youngest nominee in the history of this award category.

After releasing three albums, she decided to establish herself as a solo artist separate from her father’s group. Over the next few years, she traversed the globe and performed approximately fifty concerts per year. She performed at the ‘Concert for George in 2002, a posthumous tribute to the renowned vocalist and musician George Harrison.

Rise, the fourth studio album by Anoushka, was published in 2005. It peaked at number two on the US World Albums Chart and number thirty-nine on the US Top Heatseekers Albums Chart. It was also selected as one of the year’s Top 100 Editor’s Picks by Amazon.com.

She issued the album ‘Breathing Under Water’ in 2007 in collaboration with the Indian-American musician Karsh Kale. It ranked sixth on the US World Albums chart and forty on the US Top Heatseekers Albums chart. It received mostly favorable reviews from critics. It featured vocals by Norah Jones, a renowned vocalist, and songwriter who is her half-sister. Her father Ravi Shankar also played a duet with her on the sitar.

She joined the record label Deutsche Grammophon in 2011, which proved to be a turning point in her career. The same year she released her subsequent album, ‘Traveller,’ she received another Grammy Award nomination. It sold over 52,000 copies worldwide and received favorable reviews from critics.

In 2013, her seventh album titled “Traces of You” was released. It earned Anoushka her fourth Grammy Award nomination for Best World Album. In 2015 and 2016, she published the albums ‘Home’ and ‘Land of Gold’, respectively. Anoushka Shankar has also made several guest appearances on the recordings of other renowned artists, including Lenny Kravitz and Sting.

Shankar’s Major Opera

2005’s publication of ‘RISE,’ Anoushka’s debut album, earned her a Grammy Award nomination. The album included songs such as “Prayer in Transit,” “Red Sun,” “Mahadeva,” and “Moon’s Voice.” It ranked second on the US World Albums chart and 29th on the US Top Heatseekers Albums chart.

“Traveller,” published in 2011, is another significant work by Anoushka Shankar. It featured songs like “Inside Me,” “Krishna,” “Dancing in Madness,” and “Kanya.” It received positive reviews from critics and is regarded by some as her finest achievement. It garnered her a nomination for her third ‘Grammy Award nomination for Best World Music Album.

In 2013, she released her seventh album, titled “Traces of You.” The album included the songs ‘Indian Summer,’ ‘Metamorphosis,’ and ‘Traces of You. A few tunes also featured Norah Jones, the half-sister of Anoushka. The album reached number one on the US World Albums Chart and number four on the US Top Heatseekers Albums Chart. In addition, it entered the US Billboard 200, where it ranked 185th. Additionally, it entered the listings in France, Spain, and Switzerland. It earned her a Grammy nomination as well.

Awards & Achievements

Anoushka Shankar was awarded the ‘British House of Commons Shield’ in 1998. International Women’s Day awarded her the title “Woman of the Year” in 2003. In the 2004 Asian edition of ‘Time’, she was listed as one of 20 Asian Heroes.

She has been nominated for six Grammys for her albums “Live at Carnegie Hall,” “Rise,” “Traveller,” “Traces of You,” “Home,” and “Land of Gold.” In 2012, she won the Songlines Music Award for her sixth studio album, Traveler.
She received the ‘ACTA Award for Music’ in 2017 for her contributions to Indian classical and progressive world music.

Shankar’s Personal Life

In 2010, Anoushka Shankar wed British film director Joe Wright. The couple has two sons, Zubin Shankar Wright, born in 2011 and Mohan Shankar Wright, born in 2015. In 2018, Anoushka and Joe Wright divorced. She is a staunch advocate for animal rights and a member of PETA. She also serves as the spokesperson for the UN’s World Food Program in India.

In 2013, in response to the infamous ‘Nirbhaya gang rape case’ that occurred in India the previous year, she participated in the online campaign ‘One Billion Rising’ on Change.org, which demanded an end to crimes against women.

Estimated Net Worth

Anoushka Shankar is one of the wealthiest and most well-known composers. Based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Anoushka Shankar has a net worth of $5 million.