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Remembering Ravi Shankar 1920-2012

Grammy winner, world music legend and visionary artist Ravi Shankar passed away at the age of 92 in his San Diego home yesterday. Though already a famous classical artist in India by the 1950s, it was not until Shankar befriended George Harrison and began working on West meets East collaborations that he became a worldwide sensation. Harrison called Shankar "the godfather of world music." In 1968 Shankar's album West Meets East won a Grammy, as did the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which featured the Shankar-inspired song Within You Without You.
ravi shankar with harrison

Ravi Shankar with George Harrison

Shankar's growing participation in Western music and collaborations with Western artists brought Indian music and the sitar into the mainstream, with his influence crossing over into the world of jazz, sax player John Coltrane even named his son Ravi Coltrane after the famed sitarist. Ravi Shankar's two daughters are famous in their own right. Nora Jones is a renowned musician and Anoushka Shankar is a sitarist who studied and toured with her father. Shankar underwent valve replacement surgery last Thursday, "unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery," said Shankar's wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka, who were by his side at the time of his death. Despite his deteriorating health, Shankar's last public performance took place recently, when he shared the stage with Anoushka Shankar back in November. The world won't soon forget such a legend.
ravi with anoushka

Ravi Shankar performing with daughter Anoushka


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