Ravi Shankar, Sitar Player, “Godfather of World Music,” Dies at 92

Ravi Shankar performing on February 12, 1973 Tony Russell/Redferns

The music world is mourning the loss of a legend.

Ravi Shankar, a sitar player lauded as the "Godfather of world music," died Dec. 11 at the age of 92, his family confirmed in a statement on his website. The three-time Grammy winning Indian musician is the father of singer Norah Jones.

In failing health for several years, Shankar underwent surgery on Thursday, his family said. "He underwent a surgery that could have potentially given him a new lease of life. 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," they confirmed in a statement. "We were at his side when he passed away. . . . His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music."

Performing his last concert on Nov. 4 in Long Beach, Calif., Shankar is also remembered for his collaborations with The Beatles, and is credited with inspiring George Harrison to learn the sitar.

From 1986 to 1992, the musician served as a member of the upper chamber of the Parliament of India, and was remembered fondly by his colleagues upon his passing. "An era has passed away with . . . Ravi Shankar. The nation joins me to pay tributes to his unsurpassable genius, his art and his humility," India's Prime Minister Manmoahn Singh's office posted on Twitter.

Shankar is survived by his children — Jones, 33, Anoushka Shankar and Shubhendra Shankar — three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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