Sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar, who helped introduce the sitar to the Western world through his collaborations with The Beatles, died in Southern California on Tuesday, his family said. He was 92.
Shankar, a three-time Grammy winner with legendary appearances at the 1967 Monterey Festival and at 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."
In India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's office posted a Twitter message calling Shankar a "national treasure and global ambassador of India's cultural heritage."
"An era has passed away with ... Ravi Shankar. The nation joins me to pay tributes to his unsurpassable genius, his art and his humility," Singh added.
Here are a few glimpses from Pandit Ravi Shankar's musical life that has fallen silent today.
George Harrison @FabGeorgeFacts: Ravi Shankar and a young George Harrison. Ravi taught George how to play the sitar. #RIPRaviShankar. (TWITTER)
George Harrison @FabGeorgeFacts: Ravi Shankar-born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury-4/7/20-12/11/12. Be at peace with #GeorgeHarrison now. #RIPRaviShankar. (TWITTER)
Making music. (Image Courtesy Facebook page of Pandit Ravi Shankar.)
The Sitar Maestro: Tenth Decade in Concert. (Courtesy Facebook page of Pandit Ravi Shankar).
The Beatles @BeatlesTweets: Sad to hear that Beatles friend and inspiration Ravi Shankar has passed away at the age of 92. (TWITTER)
August 1972: Former Beatle George Harrison (1943 - 2001) with his wife, model Patti Boyd and sitar player Ravi Shankar (centre). (GETTY IMAGES)
George Harrison, of the Beatles, left, sits cross-legged with his musical mentor, Ravi Shankar of India, in Los Angeles, as Harrison explains to newsmen that Shankar is teaching him to play the sitar. Shankar was the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career. (AP)
The Beatles @BeatlesTweets: Beatles friend and inspiration Ravi Shankar has passed away at the age of 92. (TWITTER)
Annapoorna Devi is the first wife of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. She is the daughter of Late Ustad Allaudin Khan the doyen of the Maihar gharana who was also Ravi Shankar's guru (teacher). (SUPPLIED)
Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar (R) pats Masoom, a two-and-a-half month old goat rescued from an abbatoir, as his wife Sukanya Shankar looks on during a news conference in Mumbai April 1, 2004. (REUTERS)
Sitar player Ravi Shankar performs with daughter Anoushka Shankar in Kolkata February 7, 2009. (REUTERS)
Ravi Shankar (C) with his daughters Anushka Shankar (L) and Geetali Shankar after receiving France's highest civilian award Commandeur la Legion d Honneur Award in New Delhi. (REUTERS)
Ravi Shankar laughs with his daughter Anoushka as they sit beside sheep in New Delhi February 25, 2002. (REUTERS)