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Thursday, 28 February, 2002, 13:41 GMT
Grammy for Indian sitar maestro
Ravi Shankar smiles with daughter Anoushka
Ravi Shankar: Brought sitar music to the West
Legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar has been honoured with America's most prestigious music award, a Grammy.


The exclusivity and universality of these awards in the music world meant very much

Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar has been playing the sitar for more than 60 years, and has long been recognised as one of the great exponents of Indian classical music.

He was awarded the Grammy for his composition Full Circle.

The award adds one more feather to the cap of the sitar maestro.

He had previously been presented with the British CBE and France's highest civilian honour - Commander of the Legion of Honour.

Artistic roots

The musician, now 81, has had a varied career.

Ravi Shankar poses with his poster
Ravi Shankar: Great acclaim

He entered the art world as a dancer but switched to the sitar at the age of 18.

Much of the calm spirituality evident in his music is rooted in his childhood in the holy city of Benares on the banks of River Ganges.

"There used to be so much entertainment, singing dancing, little dramas going on", he once said.

"You saw everything of life, from birth to death. It was really like magic."

International fame

Ravi Shankar's name has become synonymous with music in India.

Former Beatle George Harrison with Ravi Shankar
The title of Beatles' Guru has stuck ever since
The sitar virtuoso is also credited for introducing Indian classical music to western audiences, most famously through his collaboration in the 1960s with the Beatles.

He taught George Harrison and when the group stopped off in India after a tour in the Philippines, he was dubbed the "Beatle's Guru".

The musician also collaborated with the late violinist and composer, Yehudi Menuhin, and won his first Grammy for a joint album called East meets West.

The honour came a second time in for the 1972 Concert for Bangladesh with George Harrison.

See also:

07 Apr 00 | South Asia
India celebrates Ravi's birthday
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Shankar is presented with CBE
13 Feb 00 | South Asia
France honours Shankar
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