The legend no more: Pandit Ravi Shankar

  • Ravi Shankar

    Sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar has given Indian culture of one of the best gifts. The renowned musician even became a hippie musical icon of the ...

  • Indian Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar

    In this Dec. 19, 2002, Indian Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, right, and daughter Anoushka Shankar smile during a press conference in Calcutta, India. (AP Photo)

  • Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar

    In this Feb. 25, 2002 file photo, Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, left, and his daughter Anoushka Shankar laugh during the shooting of a film ...

  • Ravi Shankar

    In this 1967 file photo, Ravi Shankar plays his sitar in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)

  • Ravi Shankar-George Harrison

    In this Aug. 3, 1967 file photo, George Harrison, of the Beatles, left, sits cross-legged with his musical mentor, Ravi Shankar, in Los Angeles, as ...

  • Ravi Shankar

    Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar performs during his concert at the Vienna State Opera House in conjunction with the Jazz Festival Vienna in this July ...

  • Ravi Shankar (L) and his daughter Anoushka Shankar

    In this photograph taken on February 25, 2004, Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar (L) and his daughter Anoushka Shankar play sitars as they perform at ...

  • Ravi Shankar

    Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar performs in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata in this February 7, 2009.

  • Ravi Shankar

    In this photograph taken on February 7, 2009, Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar (R) greets his audience while his daughter Anoushka Shankar (L, background) looks ...

Legendary musician Pandit Ravi Shankar, who introduced the West to Indian ragas in the 60s, died Tuesday in USA. He was 92. Shankar died at Scripps Memorial Hospital outside San Diego, where he had travelled in order to undergo heart surgery. Last week, Shankar and his musician daughter Anoushka were each nominated for Grammy Awards in the World Music category.

Another daughter is American singer-songwriter Norah Jones. He was a de facto tutor for Westerners fascinated by India’s musical traditions. Shankar has won three Grammy awards and was nominated for an Oscar for his musical score for the movie Gandhi. His death has evoked tributes from the global music fraternity and beyond, and the PM’s office says it is a loss of ‘national treasure’. 

The veteran’s golden advice
In an interview to HT City in 2009, Shankar had said that the need of the hour is for Indian traditional music to adapt itself to new tastes and times. “I have been criticised many a time for not playing pure music, but still I get a lot of local audience everywhere I perform. It’s purely because of my adaptation to a new style of presentation,” he had said, adding, “I see a lot of potential in young Indian artists and find them very receptive. I find Bollywood music very interesting ... it offers a lot of variety.” Aakriti Sawhney

His spirit will live on, says family
Shankar’s wife Sukanya and sitarist daughter Anoushka jointly issued a statement saying, “Despite the best efforts of doctors, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery. We were at his side when he passed away. We know that you all feel our loss with us, and we thank you for all of your prayers and good wishes through this difficult time. His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music.”

The man who inspired Beatles
Labelled “the godfather of world music” by George Harrison of The Beatles, Shankar helped millions of rock lovers around the world discover the centuries-old traditions of Indian music. Harrison met Shankar in 1966, and soon after sought him as his music guru. The Beatles song Within You Without You sparked the
raga-rock phase of 60s.


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Pandit Ravi Shankar to get posthumous Grammy

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