Pandit Ravi Shankar to receive lifetime achievement Grammy award

Ravi Shankar

Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar will be honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously, organisers of the Recording Academy announced today, the first Indian to get the prestigious award.

The award would be presented on February 10 at the 55th Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

92-year-old Shankar, a three-time Grammy winner, died yesterday after undergoing a heart-valve replacement surgery at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California.

"The decision to honour Ravi was made before his death. He was personally notified by phone by our President/CEO Neil Portnow last week," Grammy spokeswoman Stephanie Schell said after the awards were announced.

"Just last week, I had the honour to inform him that he would receive a 2013 Lifetime Achievement this February. He was deeply touched and so pleased, that he extended a gracious and personal invitation to visit with him at his home," Portnow said.

Shankar was a true pioneer in introducing Indian music to the West, he said, adding the music icon influenced artists across classical, jazz, pop, rock, and world music genres, including the Beatles, John Coltrane, Philip Glass, and his daughters, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar.

"We have lost an innovative and exceptional talent and a true ambassador of international music. Our thoughts and sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and all of those around the world who were inspired by his music and compassionate philanthropy," Portnow said.

Other recipients of this year's lifetime achievement Grammy awards are Glenn Gould, Charlie Haden, Lightnin' Hopkins, Carole King, Patti Page, and the Temptations.

"As one of the world's most renowned sitar players, three-time Grammy winner Ravi Shankar is a true ambassador for international music," said a statement issued by the Academy.

"A humanitarian and philanthropist, in 1971 Shankar, along with George Harrison, organised the Concert for Bangladesh, which paved the way for many other fundraising charity concerts," it said.

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