Bharat Ratna Ravi Shankar
(more frequently called simply "Ravi Shankar
"), was a Bengali
musician born on April 7, 1920.1
He died on December 11, 2012. In addition to being an established musician in his own right
, he is also the estranged
father of Grammy
award winner Norah Jones
, a fact which he is (understandably) less than eager to discuss with the media
or the public.
Having fathered and then abandoned Norah Jones and her mother, Sue Jones, in Norah's early childhood, the matter of Shankar's relationship with Jones is one of much curiousity and speculation among both Jones' fans and Shankar's. Ravi Shankar's wife, Sukanya Shankar, says that "Nobody knows the inside story about our family except for us, really." Ravi Shankar's past, says Sukanya, "is nobody's business and inquiring about it intrudes on our privacy."2 This objection has had little effect, though, and the intrusion of a curious public still abounds.
So intense is the curiousity that as of October, 2003, Bollywood filmmaker Dev Anand was planning the release of a movie focusing on this very subject. The film would be titled Song of Life2 but no release date is yet set.
This public interest in one's private life is an unfortunate side effect of being famous, and the Shankar family's attitude of wanting to keep 'dirty laundry' private is shared by Jones, who now claims that she harbors no animosity toward her father.
Ravi and Sukanya Shankar also have another daughter, named Anouska, a sitarist who was nominated for a Grammy in her own right, and furthermore, has performed on one of Ravi's Grammy-award-winning albums.3
Editors note: Ravi Shankar died on December 11, 2012 at the age of 92. At the time he was suffering from upper-respiratory and heart related issues.
2. Sukanya Shankar qtd. in The Globe and Mail, story by the Associated Press, at:
3. Thanks to blue_bellied_lizard for assistance on this point.