Ravi Shankar, the sitar master who influenced The Beatles' music, has passed away at the age of 92. "With profound grief and sorrow, we mourn the passing of Pandit Ravi Shankar on December 11, 2012. He died in San Diego at 4:30 P.M. Pacific time," it was announced on his official website.
The Indian music great "had suffered from upper-respiratory and heart issues over the past year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last Thursday. Though the surgery was successful, recovery proved too difficult for the 92-year-old musician."
His wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka Shankar were by his bedside at time of his death. "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," they said.
"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."
The iconic sitar player was credited for teaching George Harrison the fundamental of Eastern music. The Beatle later included his Indian-inspired song "Within You Without You" in the band's 1967 album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" which became Album of the Year at Grammy Awards.
Ravi himself won three Grammys during his career. While his health was declining, he remained a force to be reckoned with until his death. He earned a 2013 Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album, thanks to "The Living Room Sessions, Part 1". His daughter Anoushka also got a nod in the same category for "Traveller".
The pandit made his final performance on November 4 in Long Beach, California as a celebration of his 10th decade in music world. In the recent years, he often took his daughter Anoushka on his tour.
In addition to Anoushka, Ravi was the father of son Shubhendra and Grammy-winning pop-jazz singer Norah Jones whom he's estranged from but reconciled with at his golden age.