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Ravi Shankar, Sitar Maestro, Dead at 92

The Associated Press, Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 9:12pm (PST)

Billboard -- Ravi Shankar, the master sitar player who left his stamp on generations of pop musicians including the Beatles, died on Tuesday at a hospital near his home in San Diego, his foundation and record label announced. He was 92.

Shankar had been suffering from upper-respiratory and heart issues over the course of a year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last Thursday. However, he failed to recover and died at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif.

Shankar last played live on Nov. 4 in Long Beach with his daughter Anoushka Shankar, also a renowned sitarist. Last week as he was preparing to go into surgery, he learned he had been nominated for the best world music album Grammy for "The Living Room Sessions Part 1." His album will compete against Anoushka's "Traveller" in the category.

The three-time Grammy winner charted five albums on the Billboard 200 over the course of his career, with the highest-charting being the 1967 release "Ravi Shankar at the Monterey International Pop Festival," which hit No. 43. On Billboard's World chart, which launched in 1990, he tallied four top 10 efforts. Most recently, his "Collaborations" set with George Harrison peaked at No. 3 in 2010.

Shankar worked with his friend and collaborator George Harrison in organizing the Concert for Bangladesh, which was held at New York's Madison Square Garden on Aug. 1, 1971 to raise awareness for the political turmoil engulfing East Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr were among the performers at the event, which was the largest benefit concert ever organized at the time. Shankar's performance of "Bangla Dhun" was included on "The Concert for Bangladesh" live album, which was released in Dec. 1971; the triple LP spent six weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and won the 1973 Grammy for Album of the Year. "The Concert for Bangladesh" concert film was released in 1972, and issued on DVD in 2005.

This is a developing story...

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Find more online: Billboard.com

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