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Olivia Harrison, Widow of Beatle George Harrison, Eulogizes Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar Olivia Harrison
Frederick J. Brown, Getty Images

The widow of the late Beatle George Harrison, Olivia Harrison, joined friends and family to pay respects to Ravi Shankar on Thursday (Dec. 20). Over 1,000 people gathered at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas, Calif., including Shankar’s daughter Norah Jones and jazz great Herbie Hancock.

Olivia Harrison eulogized the famous sitar player as one of the world’s great citizens. “They were like father and son as well as brothers,” she said of Shankar and her husband, according to the CBC. George Harrison had called Shankar “the godfather of world music” during his life.

“They made each other laugh, as if they shared a secret, and I’m sure they did! Their common bond was music,” Olivia Harrison added, according to

Messages from Peter Gabriel and director Martin Scorsese were also read aloud. Jones did not speak, but joined her family onstage to address the mourners at the end. Hancock reflected on his relationship with Shankar, and flim director Joe Wright said, “I always felt like a little crumb in his presence.”

The musician died on Dec. 11 in a San Diego hospital after undergoing heart-valve replacement surgery.

Next: Ravi Shankar to Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

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