Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi , born February 4, 1922 is an Indian vocalist in the Hindustani classical tradition. A member of the Kirana Gharana , he is renowned for the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music . He is the most recent recipient of the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, awarded in 2008.
He was born into a Kannada Brahmin family in the town of Gadag in northern part of Karnataka state. His father, Gururaj Joshi, was a school teacher. Bhimsen is the eldest in a family of 16 siblings. Some of the siblings still live in their ancestral home in Gadag. Bhimsen lost his mother when he was young, and his step mother raised him.
Until the first half of the 20th century, Khyal was principally taught in the Guru Shishya tradition. Bhimsen's guru Sawai Gandharva was the chief disciple of Abdul Karim Khan, who...