Legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar to receive posthumous Grammy award
Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar is to receive a posthumous lifetime achievement Grammy award, organisers of the music industry’s top prize show said on Wednesday.
Three-time Grammy winner Shankar, who died on Tuesday in California, is among seven artists including Carole King and the Temptations named as Grammys Lifetime Achievement Award honorees.
“He was selected before his death and notified last week he was receiving the honour,” a Grammys spokeswoman, Stephanie Schell, said when asked if Shankar was added to the list after his death.
“As one of the world’s most renowned sitar players, [Shankar] is a true ambassador for international music,” the Recording Academy said in its brief biography of the Indian musician, alongside those of the other honorees.
“As a performer, composer, teacher and writer, he is considered a pioneer in bringing Indian music to the West,” it added.
Shankar died on Tuesday in Southern California at the age of 92, after failing to recover from surgery at a hospital in La Jolla, near San Diego last week. His family was at his bedside.
The sitar pioneer taught his close friend George Harrison, the late Beatle, to play the instrument and collaborated with him on several projects, including the ground-breaking Concert for Bangladesh in 1971.
Harrison called Shankar “the godfather of world music”, and Yehudi Menuhin, widely considered one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, compared him to Mozart.
The other Grammy lifetime award recipients are You’ve Got a Friend singer King, classical pianist Glenn Gould, jazz musician Charlie Haden, blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins, Motown greats the Temptations and Patti Page, famous for “[How Much Is That] Doggie In The Window.”
The 55th annual Grammy Awards show will be held in Los Angeles on February 10, next year.
Shankar received a Grammy nod only last week, when the Academy announced those shortlisted, including his The Living Room Sessions Part 1, released by his East Meets West Music label, for Best World Music Album.
His daughter Anoushka Shankar was also nominated in the same category for her Deutsche Grammophon release, Traveller.
In a comment via his publicist after the nominations were announced, Shankar said: “It is thrilling to see something we worked so hard on, and released on our own label, given this wonderful recognition.
“And, of course, I am deeply proud of my daughter Anoushka and her own nomination. Actually, I think she might give a better speech,” he added.