Los Angeles — Sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar, who helped introduce the sitar to the Western world through his collaborations with The Beatles, died near his home in Southern California on Tuesday, December 11 his family said. He was 92.
Shankar, a three-time Grammy winner with legendary appearances at the 1967 Monterey Festival and Woodstock, had been in fragile health for several years and last Thursday underwent surgery, his family said in a statement.
“Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives,” the family said. “He will live forever in our hearts and in his music.”
The statement said Shankar had suffered from upper respiratory and heart issues over the past year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last week.
The surgery was successful but he was unable to recover.
“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. We were at his side when he passed away,” his wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka said.
Shankar lived in both India and the United States. He is also survived by his daughter, Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Shankar performed his last concert with his daughter Anoushka Shankar on November 4 in Long Beach, California, the statement said. The night before he underwent surgery, he was nominated for a Grammy for his latest album “The Living Room Sessions, Part 1.”
Shankar is credited with popularising Indian music through his work with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and The Beatles in the late 1960s.