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Ravi Shankar, "Godfather Of World Music," Has Died At 92

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Ravi Shankar, the sitar master who was dubbed the “godfather of world music” by late Beatle George Harrison, died near his home in San Diego yesterday at the age of 92. Shankar suffered from upper respiratory and heart problems and had just undergone heart-valve replacement surgery. A statement from his wife and daughter was posted on his website read:

"It is with heavy hearts we write to inform you that Pandit Ravi Shankar, husband, father, and musical soul, passed away today, December 11th, 2012. As you all know, his health has been fragile for the past several years and on Thursday 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. We were at his side when he passed away. 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. 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. His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music."

Following the news of his death, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Shankar a “national treasure.” Additionally, the Recording Academy called him a “true pioneer," adding, “We have lost an innovative and exceptional talent and a true ambassador of international music.”

Shankar was also the estranged father of singer Norah Jones, who he did not see for at least a decade before reconnecting with her when she was 18-years-old.

The last time Shankar performed was just last month, with his daughter Anoushka, who also plays sitar. We'll have more on Shankar's earlier performances later, including video from Woodstock, the Concert for Bangladesh, and more... here is Shankar at Monterey Pop Festival in 1967:

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