Sitar legend Ravi Shankar passed away in a San Diego hospital yesterday. Shankar had been suffering from poor health over the past year and he underwent heart valve replacement surgery last week. He was 92 years old.
Shankar was named the “Godfather of World Music” by his student George Harrison. A sitar master, Shankar brought a hint of India to American music in the 1960s, influencing artists from the Beatles to John Coltrane. Shankar began playing Indian classical instruments as a teen and began touring in the 1950s. George Harrison was one of Shankar’s most famous students, and Harrison even encorporated the sitar on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band song “Within You Without You.” John Coltrane was also so influenced by Shankar that he named his son Ravi after the musician. Shankar was a three-time Grammy award winner and was also the father of singer Norah Jones.