Joshi most popular and beloved vocalist: Ravi Shankar

"He was the last of my contemporaries who left me behind. He was the most popular and beloved vocalist and admired by all classical music lovers," the sitar virtuoso said in a condolence message from California.

"Even though I knew that he was not keeping well for quite a while now, the news has been shocking and painful," Ravi Shankar said."We had been meeting and performing in numerous music conferences and festivals all over India since 1940s and been good friends.

"During my last visit to Pune, I was planning to drop by his house and meet him, as I knew he was not keeping well. But unfortunately, I had high blood pressure and heart palpitations and could not do so and I regret that very much."

Ravi Shankar said along with Joshi's great singing, he also admired his simple straightforward nature, humour and frankness.

"It has been very sad last few years for us losing all the beloved musicians, starting from Bismillah Khan, Vilayat Khan, Kishen Maharaj, Ali Akbar Khan and Gangubai Hangal."I am ready and waiting for my turn with a strong hope and prayer that some of our fantastic young musicians, particularly in the field of Hindustani classical music, will rise to the standard of these great luminaries that have gone. I will miss him and send my deep condolences to his family."

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