Ravi Shankar Net Worth at Death – How Did He Get Rich?

Ravi Shankar Net Worth 

Ravi Shankar had an estimated net worth of $5 million at death. Ravi Shankar was an Indian musician and composer best known for popularizing the sitar and Indian classical music in Western culture. He earned most of his income from album sales and concerts. 

Ravi Shankar was an Indian musician and composer best known for his successful popularization of the sitar. Shankar grew up studying music and toured as a member of his brother’s dance troupe. After serving as director of All-India Radio, he toured India and the United States and collaborated with many notable musicians, including George Harrison and Philip Glass. Shankar died in 2012 in California at the age of 92.

To calculate the net worth of Ravi Shankar, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Ravi Shankar
Net Worth: $5 Million
Monthly Salary: $70 Thousand
Annual Income: $1 Million
Source of Wealth: Composer, Musician, Film Score Composer

Early Life

Ravi Shankar was born on April 7, 1920, in Varanasi (also known as Benares), India, as a Brahmin, the highest caste of Indians according to the caste system. His birthplace is a popular Hindu pilgrimage destination, and Mark Twain once described it as “older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looking[ing] twice as old as all of them put together.”

Shankar lived in Varanasi until the age of ten, when he traveled to Paris with his older brother, Uday. Uday was a member of the Compagnie de Danse Musique Hindous (Company of Hindu Dance Music), and the younger Shankar spent his adolescence hearing and watching his culture’s traditional dances.

Ravi Shankar once reflected on his time with his brother’s dance troupe, saying, “I paid close attention to our music and observed how audiences reacted to it. This critical analysis assisted me in determining what we should give to Western audiences in order for them to truly respect and appreciate Indian music.”

At the same time, Shankar was learning Western musical traditions and attending Parisian schools. This fusion of Indian and Western influences would be evident in his later compositions, assisting him in cultivating the respect and appreciation for Indian music that he sought from Westerners.

Early Music Career

At a music conference in 1934, Shankar met guru and multi-instrumentalist Allaudin Khan, who became his mentor and musical guide for many years. Just two years later, Khan became a soloist with Uday’s dance troupe. Shankar went to Maihar, India, in 1938 to study sitar with Khan. (The sitar is a guitar-like instrument with a long neck, six melody strings and 25 resonating strings that resonate when the melody strings are played).

Only a year after beginning his training with Khan, Shankar began giving concerts. By this time, Khan had become much more than a music teacher to Shankar – he was also a spiritual and practical life advisor to the young musician.

Of his mentor, whom he called “Baba,” Shankar once recalled, “Baba himself was a deeply spiritual man. Although he was a devout Muslim, he could be moved by any spiritual path. One morning in Brussels, I took him to a cathedral where the choir was singing. As we entered, I immediately noticed that he was in a strange mood.

There was a huge statue of the Virgin Mary in the cathedral. Baba walked up to the statue and started crying like a child, “Ma, Ma” (Mother, Mother), and the tears were flowing. We had to pull him out. Learning under Baba was a double whammy – the whole tradition behind him and his own religious experience. The open-mindedness Khan displayed toward other cultures is a trait Shankar personally retained throughout his life and career.

Ten years after meeting Khan and six years after beginning his music studies, Shankar’s sitar training ended. He then went to Mumbai, where he worked for the Indian People’s Theatre Association, composing music for ballets until 1946.

He then became music director of All-India Radio in New Delhi, a position he held until 1956. While at AIR, Shankar composed pieces for orchestra combining sitar and other Indian instruments with classical Western instrumentation.

During this time, he also began performing and writing music with American-born violinist Yehudi Menuhin, with whom he later recorded three albums: the Grammy-winning West Meets East (1967), West Meets East, Vol. 2 (1968) and Improvisations: West Meets East (1976). During this period, Ravi Shankar’s name became increasingly well known internationally.

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Mainstream Success

In 1954, Shankar gave a recital in the Soviet Union. In 1956 he made his debut in the United States and Western Europe. The film music he wrote for the Apu trilogy of the famous Indian director Satyajit Ray also contributed to the rise of his star. The first of these films, Pather Panchali, won the Grand Prix – now known as the Palme d’Or – at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival. The prize is awarded to the best film of the festival.

Shankar was already an ambassador of Indian music to the Western world, but in the 1960s he took on this role even more. In that decade, Shankar performed at the Monterey Pop Festival, and in 1969 he played at Woodstock. In addition, George Harrison began studying sitar with Shankar in 1966 and even played the instrument on the Beatles song “Norwegian Wood.”

Concert for Bangladesh

Years later, Shankar’s collaboration with Harrison proved to be even more significant. Bangladesh became a flashpoint for armed conflict between Indian and Muslim Pakistani forces in 1971. In addition to the issue of violence, the country was inundated with torrential flooding. Shankar and Harrison organized the Concert for Bangladesh after witnessing the famine and hardships endured by the country’s civilians.

On August 1, it was held at Madison Square Garden and featured performers such as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Shankar, and Harrison. The proceeds from the show, widely regarded as the first major modern charity concert, were donated to UNICEF to assist Bangladeshi refugees. Furthermore, the performing artists’ benefit recording won the 1973 Grammy Award for album of the year.

Later Career

From the 1970s to the beginning of the 21st century, Shankar’s fame, recognition, and achievement grew steadily. In 1982, he received an Academy Award nomination for his score to Richard Attenborough’s film Gandhi.

In 1987, Shankar experimented with adding electronic music to his traditional sound, sparking the New Age movement in music. At the same time, he continued to compose orchestral music that blended Western and Indian instruments, including a collaboration with Philip Glass: the 1990 album Passages.

Throughout his career, Shankar was criticised by some Indian traditionalists for not being a classical purist. In response, the musician once said, “I experimented with non-Indian instruments and even electronic devices.

But all my experiences were based on Indian ragas. When people talk about tradition, they do not know what they are talking about. Over the centuries, classical music has undergone additions, embellishments and improvements – without giving up its traditional foundation. Today, the difference is that the changes are faster.

Death and Legacy

Throughout his career, Shankar received numerous honors and awards, including 14 honorary degrees, three Grammy Awards (two of which were posthumous), and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Shankar died on December 11, 2012, at the age of 92, in San Diego, California. The musician reportedly suffered from upper respiratory and heart issues throughout 2012, and had undergone surgery to replace a heart valve in the days before his death. Shankar is survived by two daughters, sitarist Anoushka Shankar and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Norah Jones.

Shankar is remembered fondly today as the “godfather of world music,” for infusing Indian culture into the world’s ever-growing music scene, and is largely credited with building a large following for Eastern music in the West.

Further Reading

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