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Indian vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi dies at 89

January 24, 2011 |  9:10 am

Vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, a leading figure of Indian classical music, died Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 89.

Joshi was hospitalized three weeks ago in the western city of Pune complaining of shortness of breath, a Sahyadri hospital official said. He later underwent dialysis following kidney failure.

The son of a school teacher in the southern state of Karnataka, Joshi moved to the entertainment capital Mumbai in 1943 to work as a radio singer and released his debut album by age 22.

He received India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, in 2008.

Pandit Jasraj, another top vocalist, said: "His death is a great loss to Indian classical music."

Joshi is survived by three sons and a daughter.

-- Associated Press