The ‘godfather of world music’ passed away at the age of 92 in the early evening of December 11 in San Diego, California, with his wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka by his side.
The Indian sitar maestro underwent a heart-valve replacement surgery on Thursday but his body was unable to withstand the strain. A statement released from the family said: “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 legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music.”
Shankar leaves behind another daughter from his previous relationship with Sue Jones – well-known jazz singer Norah Jones, along with three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The musician was born on April 7 1920 in the holy city of Varanasi (previously referred to as Benares) to a Bengali Brahmin family and was the youngest of five sons.
He is credited for making classical Eastern music mainstream in the West in the 1960s and worked closely with George Harrison, of the Beatles. He has three Grammy’s to his name and was nominated for an Oscar for his musical score for the movie Gandhi.
Tributes have been pouring in from Indian personalities on the social networking site Twitter.
A message on the official account of the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, read: “Prime Minister condoles the passing away of Pandit Ravishankar – A national treasure and global ambassador of India’s cultural heritage.”
Musical genius A.R.Rahman said: “Indian Classical Music has lost its chief ambassador & India its Bharat Ratna..May God bless his soul!”
Bollywood actress and singer Priyanka Chopra wrote: “The end of an era in Music.We have lost too many legends this year.. My condolences to the family..RIP Shri Pandit Ravi Shankar”