| Norah with her five Grammys at New York’s Madison Square Garden. (Reuters)
New York, Feb. 24: The 45th Grammy Awards night was the night of Norah Jones. She swept the awards, garnering Grammys in all the eight categories for which she was nominated this year.
But the 23-year-old pop-jazz singer, clad in a black sleeveless dress and looking distinctly Indian with her brown skin and black hair, did not acknowledge her father, sitar legend Pandit Ravi Shankar, on any of the eight occasions she went on stage to receive the awards.
Many people, especially Indians, in the star-studded audience at the Madison Square Garden here waited breathlessly as Jones accepted her first Grammy for the best pop vocal album of the year, Come Away with Me.
“This is amazing,” she began, slightly incoherent with the excitement of the win and proceeded to thank all those who had helped her get where she did last night. “My real family, my mom, my wonderful boyfriend.”
There was no mention of her father then or at any time later in the night as she collected the golden gramophone replicas one after another.
Ravi Shankar said he “can’t take credit” for his daughter’s success. “She has been born and brought up in America, and her music has its foundations in jazz, pop and the western style. I cannot take credit for it.”
Jones and her half-sister, Anoushka Shankar, had both been nominated for this year’s Grammys. Anoushka lost the award for the Best World Album to Mundo by Ruben Blades.
Speaking to The Telegraph after the Grammys, Anoushka cautioned against reading too much into the omission of their father’s name in the acceptance comments by Jones.
She said Jones had spoken to Ravi Shankar, who is in New Delhi, by telephone after the event at Madison Square Garden. “She did not mention me in her acceptance either. But she told me the happiest thing for her about the evening was my presence at the award”.
She said it was “incredibly wonderful to see my sister” being a star at the award ceremonies. The sisters partied together after the event. “We had a wonderful time,” said Anoushka.
Jones took home the golden gramophone statuettes for Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Record of The Year for the single Don’t Know Why, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Album.
“I just want to say that at a time when this world is really weird, I feel really blessed and really lucky to have had the year I’ve had,” she said.
Jones outdid the critics’ other top pick, veteran rocker Bruce Springsteen, who won three Grammys for his album, The Rising, influenced by September 11.
Told that some people were surprised she took top album honours from Springsteen, Jones said: “Me too. It’s amazing that we got it.”