Indian classical singer Pandit Bhimsen Joshi dies

Vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, a leading figure of Indian classical music, has died 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. He died Monday.

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 higest 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.