The Kennedy Center

Shankar Mahadevan


Shankar Mahadevan is one of India's most renowned vocalists and composers. He is adept at a wide range of musical styles, having begun his study of both instrumental (on veena*) and vocal Carnatic (South Indian) music at a very early age with Shrimati Lalita Venkatraman and Shrimati T.R. Balamani. He also seriously studied many vocal forms of Hindustani music with eminent composer Shri Shrinivas Khale and Shrimati Tara Devi. Shankar began his career singing jingles for commercials and quickly became a collaborator with some of the finest artists in the music world, both in India and abroad. He is a member of Louiz Banks' band "Silk" and Taufiq's group "Surya." He has toured widely to great acclaim with "Remember Shakti", founded by Zakir Hussain and John McLaughlin. His album "Breathless," released in 1998, brought him instant fame, staying at the top of the Indian music charts for 10 weeks. Shortly thereafter, he began to work as one of the members of the immensely successful musical triumvirate, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who have gone from triumph to triumph in the past decade. He has become one of India's most successful film music directors, recently scoring for the international release "My Name is Khan." As a performer, Shankar is noted for his dynamic, classically-infused vocal style and energetic and engaging stage presence. He has received national awards as Best Playback Singer and countless awards from India's various film industries.

His website is

Last updated: February 25, 2011
Shankar Mahadevan