Norah Jones’ father, sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, who is best known for his work with The Beatles and holding the first rock benefit concert, died Tuesday, December 11, at age 92.
A statement on his website said he died in San Diego, near his Southern California home. The musician’s foundation issued a statement saying that he had suffered upper respiratory and heart problems and had undergone heart-valve replacement surgery last week.
While he is recognized for introducing traditional Indian to the Western world, some may know him better as Jones’ dad.
The singer has spoken honestly about her estranged relationship with Shankar, who had a relationship with her mother, Sue Jones in the ’70s. The two were never married.
“I knew who my dad was,” she told CBS News 60 Minutes in 2009. “I saw him sporadically until I was nine and then I didn’t see him again or talk to him until I was 18.”
In 2003, she was forced to defend her relationship with Shankar after not thanking him at that year’s GRAMMYs where she won five statues for her album Come Away With Me.
“I talk to my dad every five months, so it’s not like I dissed him by not singling him out,” she told Oprah in 2003. “I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to thank him, because he didn’t help me with the record. It’s not that he isn’t supportive—it’s just that I don’t talk to him that often… The fact that people made such a big deal of me not thanking him is ridiculous.”
In recent years, Jones had gotten closer with her father, even writing some of the songs on her 2009 album, The Fall after visiting him in India.
Go to CBS San Francisco’s website for more information on Ravi Shankar’s career.
- Shannon Carlin, CBS Local