Lakshmi Shankar

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Lakshmi Shankar
Birth name Lakshmi Sastri
Born (1926-06-16)16 June 1926
Origin India
Died 30 December 2013(2013-12-30) (aged 87)
Genres Hindustani classical
Occupation(s) Vocalist, dancer

Lakshmi Shankar (born Lakshmi Sastri, 16 June 1926 – 30 December 2013) was a noted Hindustani classical vocalist of the Patiala Gharana. She was known for her performances of khyal, thumri, and bhajans.[1][2][3] She was the sister-in-law of sitar player Ravi Shankar and the mother-in-law of violinist L. Subramaniam (her daughter Viji (Vijayashree Shankar) Subramaniam being his first wife).


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 Shankar’s dance style based on the Indian classics, and became a part of the troupe. In 1941, she married Uday Shankar's brother, Rajendra (nicknamed Raju).

During a period of illness, Lakshmi had to give up dancing, and already having had a background of Carnatic music, she undertook learning Hindustani classical music for many years under Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan. Later, she also trained with Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro and youngest brother of Rajendra and Uday.

In 1974, Lakshmi performed in Europe as part of Ravi Shankar's Music Festival from India. Late that same year, she toured North America with Shankar and George Harrison, who produced the Shankar Family & Friends album (1974), including the pop single "I Am Missing You" with vocals by Lakshmi. Following Ravi Shankar's heart attack during the tour, she conducted his ensemble of musicians.[4]

Lakshmi has shown her versatility and adaptability by composing music for Bharatanatyam for the leading dance company Shakti School of Bharatanatyam, located in Los Angeles.

Shankar died on 30 December 2013 in California.[5]


LP Records

  • The Voice of Lakshmi Shankar - World Pacific, USA
  • Les Heures et les Saisons - Ocora 558615/16, France

Compact Discs

  • Les Heures et les Saisons - Ocora, France
  • Songs of Devotion - Auvidis (Ethnic), France
  • Live Concert from Los Angeles - Ravi Shankar Music Circle, USA
  • Jai Uttal Footprints, featuring Lakshmi Shankar and Don Cherry - Triloka, Los Angeles, Ca, ©1990
  • Live in London - Navras, UK (Cat No NRCD0006)
  • Bhakti Ras - Navras, UK (Cat No NRCD0056)
  • Shringar: Thumris - Music Today, India
  • Ecstasy - Audiorec (Cat No 1052-2)
  • Divine Love - Navras UK (Cat No NRCD3515)
  • A life of dedication - Navras UK (Cat No NRCD0202)
  • Dancing in the Light - World Village (Cat No 468049)


  • Live in London - Navras, UK
  • Bhakti Ras - Navras, UK
  • Songs of the Seasons - Music Today, India
  • Shringar: Thumris - Music Today, India
  • Thumris - HMV - India
  • Lakshmi Shankar Vocal with Zakir Hussain and L. Subramaniam - HMV, India


  1. ^ "Making music, with love". The Hindu. January 1, 2001. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ageless artiste, timeless charm...". The Hindu. Mar 24, 2006. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Pop And Jazz Guide: Lakshmi Shankar, Shweta Jhaveri, Anuradha Pal". New York Times. April 2, 2004. p. 4. Retrieved Mar 21, 2013. Lakshmi Shankar's clear, supple voice has made her one of India's most acclaimed classical singers. 
  4. ^ Lavezzoli, Peter (2006). The Dawn of Indian Music in the West. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 196. ISBN 0-8264-1815-5. 
  5. ^ "Classical Vocalist Lakshmi Shankar Passes Away". 1926-06-16. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 

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