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John Lennon: Biography

The English singer, songwriter, pianist, and peace activist John Lennon Winston Ono (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) rose to international fame as the group’s founder, co-composer, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist. Lennon’s collection of work was distinguished by the rebelliousness and caustic wit that characterized his music, literature, and artwork as well as his performances in films and interviews. The most well-known songwriting partnership in history is still his with Paul McCartney.

Early Life 

On October 9, 1940, a German air raid in Liverpool, Merseyside, England gave birth to John Winston Lennon.

When Lennon was four years old, his parents separated, and he finally moved in with his aunt Mimi. John Lennon’s father was a commercial seaman. He did not see his kid much when he was a child and missed his son’s birth.

Lennon’s mother, Julia, had remarried but continued to visit him and Mimi frequently. Lennon’s first guitar was purchased by her, and she also taught him the piano and banjo. Lennon was upset when Julia was fatally struck by a car being driven by an off-duty police officer in July 1958. Her passing was one of the worst experiences of his life.

Lennon loved to make messes and play practical pranks as a child. As a child and a young adult, he enjoyed painting people that were malformed and unable to move. Lennon’s teacher thought he could go to an art college despite getting bad grades because he had a creative talent.


Music Career

Lennon took part in the skiffle craze while he was younger. In 1956, he created The Quarrymen, who later changed their name to the Beatles in 1960. He served as the group’s de facto leader at first and was sometimes referred to as “the wise Beatle,” but McCartney eventually took over that role.

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Lennon penned two volumes of nonsensical writing and line drawings titled In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works in addition to acting in a number of films, including How I Won the War.

Beginning with “All You Need Is Love,” his songs served as anthems for the anti-war movement and the broader counterculture of the 1960s. Together with his second wife, the multimedia artist Yoko Ono, he co-founded the Plastic Ono Band in 1969. He also coordinated the two-week Bed-ins for Peace anti-war protest. In order to focus on a solo career, he also departed the Beatles.

Between 1968 and 1972, Lennon and Ono collaborated on a range of projects, including a trilogy of avant-garde albums, more films, his solo debut John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, and the top 10 singles “Give Peace a Chance,” “Instant Karma!”, “Imagine,” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”.

The Nixon administration attempted to deport him for three years when he moved to New York City in 1971 because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. When Lennon and Ono were apart between 1973 and 1975, he contributed to Harry Nilsson’s Pussy Cats album.

Additionally, he worked with David Bowie and Elton John on hit songs like “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” (“Fame”) that reached the top of the charts. After a five-year hiatus, Lennon made his musical comeback in 1980 with the album Double Fantasy, which he co-wrote with Yoko Ono. Mark David Chapman, a Beatles fan, killed him three weeks after the album’s release.

25 of Lennon’s songs reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, either as performers, writers, or co-writers. Double Fantasy, his best-selling album, won the 1981 Album of the Year Grammy. In 1982, Lennon received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Lennon placed ninth in a 2002 BBC history poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He was ranked by Rolling Stone as the fifth best singer and the 38th greatest artist overall. Both as a member of the Beatles and as a solo musician, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997.

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John Lennon Murder

Lennon and Ono departed The Dakota on December 8, 1980, at around 5:00 p.m., for a recording session at the Record Plant. Before leaving, Lennon autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Mark David Chapman. Lennon and Ono returned to the Dakota in a limousine about 10:50 after the session. They exited the vehicle and walked through the archway to the building. Then, from close range, Chapman shot Lennon four times: twice in the back and once in the shoulder. Lennon was taken in a police cruiser to the emergency room of Roosevelt Hospital at 11:15 p.m., where he was pronounced dead.

“John loved and prayed for the human race, and there is no funeral for him,” it reads in a statement that was released the following day by Ono. Please, do the same for him. His remains were cremated and interred in Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Ono had his ashes scattered in Central Park in New York, where the Strawberry Fields memorial was later constructed. Chapman avoided a trial by disobeying his attorney’s counsel and pleading guilty to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

In the weeks following the murder, “(Just Like) Starting Over” and “Double Fantasy” topped the charts in the US and the UK. “Imagine” peaked at number one in the UK in January 1981, while “Happy Xmas” peaked at number two. The second track on Double Fantasy, “Woman,” took “Imagine”‘s place atop the UK chart. Later that year, the tribute to Lennon made by Roxy Music, “Jealous Guy,” was the top-charting song in the UK.

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  • 1970: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 
  • 1971: Imagine 
  • 1973: Mind Games 
  • 1974: Walls and Bridges 
  • 1975: Rock ‘n’ Roll 

With Yoko Ono

  • 1968: Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins 
  • 1969: Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions 
  • 1969: Wedding Album 
  • 1970: Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band 
  • 1972: Some Time in New York City 
  • 1989: Double Fantasy 


  • 1984: Milk and Honey (Polydor)


Year Title

  • 1977 The Day the Music Died
  • 1976 Chelsea Girls with Andy Warhol
  • 1972 Ten for Two: The John Sinclair Freedom Rally
  • 1972 Eat the Document
  • 1971 Up Your Legs Forever
  • 1971 The Museum of Modern Art Show
  • 1971 Sweet Toronto
  • 1971 Erection
  • 1971 Clock
  • 1971 Breathing Together: Revolution of the Electric Family
  • 1970 Let It Be
  • 1970 Freedom
  • 1970 Fly
  • 1970 Apotheosis
  • 1970 3 Days in the Life
  • 1969 Walden (Diaries, Notes, and Sketches)
  • 1969 Self-Portrait
  • 1969 Muhammad Ali, the Greatest
  • 1969 Honeymoon
  • 1969 Bed Peace
  • 1968 Yellow Submarine
  • 1968 Two Virgins
  • 1968 No. 5
  • 1967 Pink Floyd: London 
  • 1967 Magical Mystery Tour
  • 1967 How I Won the War
  • 1967 Bottoms
  • 1965 Help!
  • 1964 A Hard Day’s Night


Year Title

  • 1977 All You Need Is Love: The Story of Popular Music
  • 1975 A Salute to the Beatles: Once upon a Time
  • 1972 John Lennon and Yoko Ono Present the One-to-One Concert
  • 1972 Imagine
  • 1971 The Dick Cavett Show
  • 1969 Rape
  • 1966 The Beatles in Japan
  • 1966 The Beatles at Shea Stadium
  • 1965 The Music of Lennon & McCartney
  • 1965 Not Only… But Also
  • 1964 What’s Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A.
  • 1964 The Ed Sullivan Show
  • 1964 Around the Beatles
  • 1964 Ready Steady Go!

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