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Celebrities and others gathered to mourn the late Ravi Shankar, who died last week. Singer Norah Jones, jazz icon Herbie Hancock and George Harrison’s widow Olivia attended the funeral Thursday in Encinitas, California.
“My father loved spending time here so much and it feels so right for us to celebrate his journey in this beautiful place,” Shankar’s daughter, sitarist Anoushka Shankar, said during the memorial, reports E! News. Anna Karenina director Joe Wright, Anoushka’s husband, also spoke.
Olivia Harrison spoke passionately about her late husband’s relationship with Shankar, who worked with Harrison numerous times before the former Beatle died in 2001. “Raviji was one of the great citizens of the world,” she said, notes the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I cannot think of a more illustrious or elegant person.”
She continued, “They were like father and son, as well as brothers...They made each other laugh, as if the shared a secret -- and I'm sure they did! Their common bond was music.”
“He was such an amazing human being. I'm so grateful for what he's given to the world,” Hancock said after the service.
Shankar died on Dec. 11 at the age of 92, after dealing with heart ailments over the past year. Harrison called him the “godfather of World Music,” as Shankar played an integral role in introducing traditional Indian music to the world.
Jones did not speak at the funeral, but she did release a short statement last week that read, “My Dad’s music touched millions of people. He will be greatly missed by me and music lovers everywhere.”
The Recording Academy said the day after his death that Shankar will receive a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.