Shankar, the father of five-time Grammy winning singer Norah Jones, died at 4:30 p.m., according to a statement on his website.
Shankar underwent heart valve replacement surgery last week, Stuart Wolferman, a publicist for his record label, Unfinished Side Productions, told the Los Angeles Times.
Shankar taught Beatle guitarist George Harrison how to play the sitar in the 1960s, and Harrison used it for “Within You Without You” on the 1967 album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
Shankar’s collaboration with Harrison led to the first big rock music benefit, the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. It was actually two shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City, featuring Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Shankar, that raised funds for war refugees.
Harrison produced and participated in two albums with Shankar, “Shankar Family & Friends” and Festival of India.”
Harrison, who died in 2001, called Shankar “the godfather of world music.”
Shankar also performed at two of rock music’s most famous concerts — Woodstock and the Monterey Pop Festival.
Shankar also authored violin-sitar compositions for Yehudi Menuhin and himself, music for flute virtuoso Jean Pierre Rampal and collaborated with composer Phillip Glass.
Shankar also composed for movies and ballets.
“His genius and his humanity can only be compared to that of Mozart’s,” Menuhin, who died in 1999, once said.
Shankar trained his other daughter, Anoushka Shankar, on the sitar and she has been nominated for a Grammy Award.
Shankar was a lecturer at UC San Diego. He gave his final concert Nov. 4 at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach.
In addition to his daughters, Shankar is survived by his wife, Sukanya, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The family released a statement regarding his passing:
“We know that you all feel our loss with us, and we thank you for all of your prayers and good wishes through this difficult time. Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives. His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music.”
Memorial plans were not immediately released.