Born: October 9th, 1940 

Singer & Guitarist 

Age in 2023: Would  have been 83 

There are very few musicians with star power so absurd that they are instantly recognizable, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, Evil Presley, but very few could ever outshine the work of John Lennon, with or without his compatriots in The Beatles. In 1957, John met Paul McCartney and asked him to join his band, then known as the Quarrymen, and despite Paul’s family disapproving of John due to his class status, the band was allowed to rehearse in the McCartney’s front room. From there, the band slowly formed into The Beatles we know today between 1960 and 1962 while the band played a handful of residencies in Hamburg, West Germany. In October 1962, the band released their first single “Love Me Do” followed by the first album being released in March of 1963. While the release was majorly successful in the UK, the band ‘s performance on The Ed Sullivan Show was the last push the band needed to go from a popular UK band to the international musical juggernauts they became. From there, the rest is Beatles History.  

In September 1969, John Lennon left The Beatles, but that didn’t mean his musical genius stopped. With his then wife Yoko Ono, he formed the Plastic Ono Band, which released the single “Give Peace A Chance” before his departure from The Beatles and singles “Cold Turkey” and “Instant Karma!” following his departure. Fast forward to 1971, arguably one of the most important songs in music history was released as the title track for Lennon’s second album Imagine. “Imagine” is certified triple platinum by the RIAA as of 2021, would go on to be an anthem for anti-war movements, something John was heavily involved in. In the years that followed, John released an album a year until 1975’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, as well as produced an album for Harry Nilsson and a song for Mick Jagger. Also during that time, John collaborated with Elton John on the track “Whatever Gets You thru the Night”, which further led to a performance at Madison Square Garden of the song as well as “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “I Saw Her Standing There”, as well as a collaboration with David Bowie on the track “Fame”. After a five-year hiatus that John spent looking after Sean, his only child with Yoko, John would release Double Fantasy in 1980, and start working on the follow-up album Milk and Honey (1984). Unfortunately, John would not get to see the release of that follow-up, as on December 8th, 1980, he was killed by Mark David Chapman, whom he had signed an album for just hours before. He may be gone for almost 43 years, but his legacy and music live on as one of the biggest and brightest rock stars of all time.

Check out 5 of his biggest musical achievements below!

  • Imagine

  • Help!

  • Come Together

  • Instant Karma

  • All You Need Is Love

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