NEW DELHI, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, India's celebrated Hindustani classical singer, died Monday at age 87 in a hospital after prolonged illness, his family said.
Joshi, who had enthralled generations of music lovers for which he received India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India), died in a hospital in the western city of Pune, where he had been on life support systems after being admitted last month, the Press Trust of India reported, quoting the family.
Joshi had been widely acclaimed as a master of the "Kirana Gharana" school of classical singing in the Hindustani language, noted for his powerful voice and amazing breath control. He is survived by three sons and a daughter.
Joshi also had lent his voice as a playback singer in some Indian movies, PTI said.
During his long musical career, which began at the age of 11, Joshi also won numerous other national awards.
The BBC quoted popular musician and singer Shankar Mahadevan as saying: "An era of Hindustani classical music has ended."
The British network said as a budding singer, Joshi traveled in trains and paid his fare by singing to fare collectors.