Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, who introduced the Western world to to Indian music, breathed his last at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California on Tuesday evening.

The ninety-two year old maestro was ailing and had undergone a heart surgery at the hospital near his home in Southern California. 

Pandit Shankar popularised classical Indian music abroad through his collaboration with The Beatles. Shankar taught George Harrison to play the sitar and worked with him on various projects, such as the charity Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, earning the nickname 'The Godfather of World Music' by Beatles' Harrison himself.

Reacting to the news, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the musical legend 'A national treasure and global ambassador of India's cultural heritage' on Twitter, a social networking site. Shiv Kumar Sharma, santoor player was quoted saying, 'It is a great loss, not just to Indian music but to world music. He was a world musician'.

The 3-time Grammy Awards winner and India's Bharat Ratna Awardee is survived by his wife Sukanya, daughter Norah Jones, daughter Anoushka Shankar Wright and husband Joe Wright, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.


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