Mumbai, Jan 24 (PTI) Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was the mostpopular and beloved vocalist and admired by all classicalmusic lovers, sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar said in histribute to the legendary singer who passed away today.
"He was the last of my contemporaries who left mebehind. He was the most popular and beloved vocalist andadmired by all classical music lovers," the sitar virtuososaid in a condolence message from California.
"Even though I knew that he was not keeping well forquite a while now, the news has been shocking and painful,"Ravi Shankar said.
"We had been meeting and performing in numerous musicconferences and festivals all over India since 1940s and beengood friends.
"During my last visit to Pune, I was planning to dropby his house and meet him, as I knew he was not keeping well.
But unfortunately, I had high blood pressure and heartpalpitations and could not do so and I regret that very much."
Ravi Shankar said along with Joshi''s great singing, healso admired his simple straightforward nature, humour andfrankness.
"It has been very sad last few years for us losing allthe beloved musicians, starting from Bismillah Khan, VilayatKhan, Kishen Maharaj, Ali Akbar Khan and Gangubai Hangal.
"I am ready and waiting for my turn with a strong hopeand prayer that some of our fantastic young musicians,particularly in the field of Hindustani classical music, willrise to the standard of these great luminaries that have gone.
I will miss him and send my deep condolences to his family."PTI VT ABC