The sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar died Tuesday in a hospital near his home in Southern California. He was 92. He took his final breath in presence of his family.
The sitarist had suffered from upper respiratory and heart ailments in the last year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last Thursday, his family said in a statement.
The Prime Minister confirmed Pandit Ravi Shankar’s death and called him a ‘national treasure’.
Pandit Ravi Shankar was quintessential in introducing the world to Indian classical music. The sitar virtuoso collaborated with the likes of Beatles and introduced traditional Indian ragas to the western world.
The maestro was termed as ‘the godfather of world music’ by George Harrison, for helping millions of classical, jazz and rock lovers to discover the traditional Indian music.
Shankar's first marriage, to Annapurna Devi, ended in the late 1960s. They had a son, Shubhendra Shankar, who died in 1992. He also had long relationships with Kamala Shastri, a dancer; and Sue Jones, a concert producer, with whom he had a daughter, the singer Norah Jones, in 1979; as well as Sukanya Rajan, whom he married in 1989. Shankar and Rajan had a daughter, the sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar, in 1981.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters as well as three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
May his soul rest in peace.