December 11: Ravi Shankar dies at age 92
Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s and introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over a 10-decade career, died at the age of 92. A statement on the musician's 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 recently undergone heart-valve replacement surgery. In the 1960s, Shankar took Eastern music mainstream in the West. He lent ethereal, spiritual sounds to the Beatles through his friendship with George Harrison, who recorded them on the "Sgt. Pepper's" album in the song "Within You Without You." Virtuoso performances at Monterey in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969 helped cement Shankar's place in Western musical history as an ambassador of Eastern wisdom to a generation looking for new values.