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Archive for December 31st, 2013

R.I.P. Hindustani vocalist Lakshmi Shankar (1926 – 31/12/2013)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 31, 2013

… written by KeriLynn Engel (writer & founder of

vocalist Lakshmi Shankar (1926-2013)

vocalist Lakshmi Shankar (1926-2013)

Lakshmi Shankar (born 1926 – 31st Dec 2013) was a Hindustani classical vocalist of the Patiala Gharana, and was one of the foremost and well-known vocalists of India.

She is known for her performances of khyal, thumri, and bhajans. She’s also recorded Tamil folk songs, Hindu devotional songs of all sorts, film work (including the soundtrack to Gandhi) and for television documentaries.

The four brothers (from left):Debendra Shankar, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Uday Shankar, Rajendra Shankar.

The four brothers (from left):Debendra Shankar, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Uday Shankar, Rajendra Shankar.

Born in 1926, Lakshmi started her career in dancing. In 1939, when Uday Shankar brought his dance troupe to Madras, (recently renamed Chennai), she joined the Almora Centre to learn Uday Shankar’s dance style based on the Indian classics. She married the scriptwriter Rajendra Shankar, an elder brother of the famous sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, and became a part of Uday Shankar’s artistic circle during the early ’40s.

Ill health forced Lakshmi to give up dancing, but since she already had a background in music, she started learning Hindustani classical music under Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan. Later, she also trained with her brother-in-law Ravi Shankar.

The magic of her rich, melodious voice, her sense of proportion and the emotional content of her singing are some of the qualities that have made her one of the foremost and most popular vocalists since the last fifty years.

She first performed outside India in 1962-63, in the US, Canada and Europe with Uday Shankar, as a vocalist and director of the ballet orchestra, helping to popularize Indian vocal music in the west.

(Original Source: 01/2012 –

Lakshmi Shankar – Mirabai Meerabai Bhajan – Janama Marana

Lakshmi Shankar – Khyal: Raga Dhani

Lakshmi Shankar – Thumri: Shyam Se Preetlagayee


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