Indian Sitarist Ravi Shankar Dies

Posted December 12th, 2012 at 4:10 am (UTC-5)
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Indian composer and sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar has died in a California hospital. He was 92.

A statement released by his family, late Tuesday, said Shankar had been in “fragile health” for several years. The statement says he underwent surgery last week and never recovered.

Shankar was one of India's best known performers. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released a message on “Twitter” Wednesday reacting to his death. The prime minister called Shankar a “national treasure” and a “global ambassador of India's cultural heritage.”

The late Beatle George Harrison called Shankar “the godfather” of the music world. The two collaborated on several projects, including a 1971 relief concert for Bangladesh. Shankar also worked with violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Shankar was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor, and also won three Grammy awards. He has been nominated for the 2013 Grammy for his album, “The Living Room Sessions, Part 1.”

He was the father of American singer Norah Jones and performer Anoushka Shankar.