Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2021

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Anoushka Shankar


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SOMETIMES from the depths of despair, artists find a creative outlet which forces them to take chances and expose their own vulnerability.

That Anoushka Shankar did this with her latest release, Love Letters is a triumph of artistic enterprise. Pandit Ravi Shankar’s protégé has long stepped out of her late father’s illustrious shadow – but 2020 seemed to mark another turning point on both a professional and personal level for the sitar icon.

Her album Love Letters was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Global Music Album category. Composed after the break-up of her sevenyear marriage to British film director Joe Wright, it is an album about healing, finding the light in darkness and stepping out into the world again with a renewed sense of hope and optimism.

Moving to the new record label, Mercury KX, she told her new producers about one of the six emblematic tracks Lovable: “Am I still lovable, if you stop loving me? Am I enough, if you don’t want me? It’s the voice of that raw, aching, vulnerability inside us, the one we rarely articulate.”

This profile was written before the Grammys themselves in March but her pride in producing something which has touched so many was bolstered by news that she was being invited by The Grammys themselves to contribute to a composition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the classic Marvin Gaye track, Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology), along with others. The interpretations were scheduled to kick off The Grammys on March 14 in a ceremony that would be partially virtual.

Her nomination was announced in November last year and it was reported that she was at home in London about to eat dinner with her two sons, aged nine and five when her phone started tingling.

“My kids gave me five

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