John Lennon

John Lennon

John Lennon was a singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, author, actor, filmmaker, artist, and political spokesman, and one of the greatest figures in postwar popular music.

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In his remarkable lifetime, John Lennon and the Beatles achieved spectacular worldwide fame. No band before or after them has come close to the level of success and popularity that they attained. With his sometimes poignant, sometimes playful, and always compassionate lyrics, Lennon touched more than just his own generation. He and his band have influenced many generations to come.

Born in England in 1940, Lennon was a child of the second World War. As a young boy, Lennon lived in Liverpool primarily under the care of his aunt Mimi. Lennon's father had abandoned the family, and his mother Julia was unable to care for her son properly. She would later die in a car crash, and became a frequent subject of Lennon's song-writing. After a stint at Liverpool College of Art, Lennon formed a group called the Quarry Men with three boyhood friends, a group that would later become the Beatles.

Throughout the 1960s, Lennon and his bandmates, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and song-writing partner Paul McCartney had an extraordinary influence on rock and roll. Together with McCartney, Lennon wrote dozens of instant classics which lost none of their power in the decades that followed. These songs are so well known that their melodies and lyrics are recognized instantly all over the world. After meeting eccentric artist Yoko Ono in 1968, and separating from his wife Cynthia Powell, Lennon became increasingly active in peace efforts and began a successful career a solo artist. On his own, he released many wildly popular albums, the most well-known of which being Imagine .

The shooting of John Lennon on December 8, 1980 shocked and horrified the entire world. He was gunned down outside his hotel in New York City by Mark David Chapman, a crazed fan from Honolulu. The Beatles' song "Come Together" predicted with uncanny accuracy what would happen in the days that followed — the world truly came together in grief. John Lennon is notable for more reasons than would fit in a book, and it is hard to boil his life down to a few paragraphs. However, his greatest achievement was probably bringing the Beatles to such a level of popularity that their musical message of peace and love permeated the entire culture, affecting individuals across the globe.

* In early 1969, Yoko Ono and John Lennon celebrated their honeymoon by staging a "bed-in" for peace in Amsterdam.

* Reportedly. as Lennon was dying in a New York hospital after being shot, the Beatles song "All my Loving" began playing over the hospitals P.A. system. The reaction to the shooting was immediate— in fact, before Lennon's death was even announced, a crowd of horrified fans had gathered in the hospital's courtyard, some praying on their knees.

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