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Ravi Shankar memorial service held, family and friends pay tribute

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Norah Jones, Anoushka Shankar and Olivia Harrison were among the guests paying their personal tributes to Pandit Ravi Shankar at a private memorial service.

The three-time Grammy award-winning musician died on December 12, following heart valve surgery. He was 92.

Sukanya Rajan, third from right, is joined by daughter Anoushka Shankar, second from right, stepdaughter Nora Jones, center, and other family members during a memorial service for Ravi Shankar

© PA Images / Jae C. Hong/AP


[Second from right: Anoushka Shankar / Third from right: Sukanya Rajan / Fourth from right: Norah Jones]

According to NDTV, George Harrison's widow Olivia said her husband had great respect for Shankar and "thought his music was celestial".

The legendary sitar player performed at events such as Woodstock and won international acclaim and respect amongst Western audiences, influencing icons such as violinist Yehudi Menuhin and The Beatles. Shankar personally taught Harrison how to play the sitar, and the former Beatle once described him as "the Godfather of world music".

Sukanya Rajan, left, is comforted by conductor Zubin Mehta during a memorial service for Ravi Shankar

© PA Images / Jae C. Hong/AP


[Left: Sukanya Rajan / Right: Conductor Zubin Mehta]

Conductor Zubin Mehta described Shankar's far-reaching influence, saying: "When India was an unknown quantity in the world Ravi was opening up our country to everyone. Everybody got to know India through Ravi."

Shankar's daughters - sitar player Anoushka Shankar and singer/songwriter Norah Jones - performed the last rites for their father.

Ravi Shankar with daughter Anoushka Shankar, photographed in Kolkata (Calcutta) during 2009

© PA Images / Bikas Das / AP

Ravi Shankar and George Harrison of The Beatles photographed together in 1974.

© PA Images / PA Archive


[Left: Ravi Shankar with daughter Anoushka / Right: Ravi Shankar with George Harrison]

Bollywood stars including Amitabh Bachchan have paid their tributes to the sitar legend while Guns N' Roses dedicated their recent Delhi concert to him.

Watch Ravi Shankar perform with his daughter Anoushka below:

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