Friday, December 08, 2006
John Lennon: Free as a Bird
John Lennon: October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980
John Ono Lennon, MBE (born John Winston Lennon, October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980) was an iconic English 20th century rock and roll songwriter and singer, best known as the founder of The Beatles. He and fellow-Beatle Paul McCartney formed the massively successful Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership throughout the 1960s, writing songs for The Beatles and other artists to record.
Lennon's songwriting was often full of pain and hope. His melodies were at times beautiful and at times dark. His lyrics reflected his personal and career demands, philosophical outlook, his unease with his fame, and current events. As a writing pair, Lennon's hard-edged and McCartney's optimistic styles complemented one another. The Beatles, largely under Lennon and McCartney's influence and with their record producer George Martin, revolutionised rock music with their lyrics,
instrumentation, harmony, and electronic effects, changing the nature of popular music at the time and paving the way for the music of the 1970s, 1980s and beyond. In his solo career distinct from The Beatles, Lennon wrote and recorded songs that became icons of the age, such as "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance".
Lennon, on television and in films such as A Hard Day's Night (1964), and by press conferences and interviews, revealed his rebellious, iconoclastic nature and quick, irreverent wit. He channeled his fame and penchant for controversy into his work as a peace activist, artist and author.
He had one son, Julian, with his first wife, Cynthia; he later married his second wife, avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, and they had one son, Sean. John Lennon was murdered in New York City on December 8, 1980 by a deranged fan, as he and Ono returned home from a recording session; he was, and continues to be, mourned throughout the world.
In 2002, respondents to a BBC poll about the 100 Greatest Britons voted Lennon into eighth place.
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