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Pandit Ravi Shankar: Google Doogle pays tribute to legendary Indian sitar player on 96th birthday

Google has celebrated the life of the legendary Indian musician Pandit Ravi Shankar with a Doodle.

Born in 1920, the world famous sitar player became firm friends with the Beatles and inspired George Harrison to incorporate Eastern influences in his music.

Sadly, Ravi passed away in 2012, but today would have been his 96th birthday.

Today’s Doodle depicts a sitar and was drawn by artist Kevin Laughlin,

Ravi Shankar with daughter Anoushka May

In a statement, Google wrote: “Today we celebrate Pandit Ravi Shankar, who was born 96 years ago today. Shankar evangelized the use of Indian instruments in Western music, introducing the atmospheric hum of the sitar to audiences worldwide.

“He performed frequently with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, and composed a concerto with sitar for the London Symphony Orchestra.

“Shankar also taught George Harrison of the Beatles how to play the sitar, and widely influenced popular music in the 1960s and 70s.”

Shankar helped millions of classical, jazz and rock lovers in the West discover the centuries-old traditions of Indian music over an eight-decade career.

He was a hippie musical icon of the 1960s who played Woodstock and rubbed shoulders with The Beatles.