SA flute player wins Grammy

Wouter Kellerman has won the Grammy for best new age album.

South African flute player Wouter Kellerman. Picture: Wouter Kellerman FB page.

NEW YORK - South African flute player Wouter Kellerman has won the Grammy Award for best new age album on Sunday.

The musician recorded Winds of Samsara with Indian composer Ricky Kej, which earned them the nomination for their collaboration and was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

Kellerman told Eyewitness News he's hopeful that the win will allow him to play his music for more people.

"It will just help us to be given more opportunity to do what I love."

The Johannesburg born musician says he's happy there's a good new story for South Africa.

"The message is of peace, love and tolerance about Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi that's the message we were trying to communicate with this album."

It took three years and 120 musicians to make this album.

Winds of Samsara reached number one on the US New Age Album Billboard Charts and top 100 Radio Airplay Chart in the month of July 2014.

Meanwhile, British soul singer Sam Smith was the big winner at the Grammy Awards, taking both record and song of the year, while rocker Beck robbed him of a sweep by winning album of the year at the music industry's biggest night.

The 22-year-old newcomer Smith won two of the top Grammy awards for his heartbreak single _Stay With Me _(Darkchild Version), and was anointed best new artist.

His debut album In The Lonely Hour won best pop vocal album.

"I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart because you got me four Grammys," Smith said as he accepted his gramophone-shaped trophy for record of the year.

Beck pulled off a surprise in the album of the year category, as his Morning Phase record beat out Smith, Pharrell Williams, Beyonce and Ed Sheeran.

The record won three Grammys on the night, including best rock album.

"We made this record at my house for the most part, so I would like to thank my kids for letting me keep them awake a little bit longer," Beck said as he accepted his trophy from R&B star Prince.


A standout moment came with Katy Perry and President Barack Obama teaming up to take a stand against domestic violence.

Perry was introduced on a white stage by a survivor of domestic abuse.

Another social message came from Smith, who made an early appeal in the telecast for people to accept who they are.

"Before I made this record, I was doing everything to try and get my music heard," Smith said.

"I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music and it was only until that I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen."

Additional reporting by Reuters