Nearly 37 years ago, the world was robbed of one of its most influential musicians, the incomparable John Lennon. Today, on what would have been his 77th birthday, we look back on his peacemaking legacy and the imprint he left on popular culture.
Lennon is perhaps best known as the founding member of Liverpool pop group The Beatles. The band’s astounding popularity propelled Lennon and his fellow Beatles into the watchful public eye when they were in their early twenties, leading to nearly a decade of No. 1 hits like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Eleanor Rigby.”
In 1969, Lennon married artist Yoko Ono and progressively changed his name to John Ono Lennon.
After The Beatles’s 1970 breakup, Lennon proved himself a talented solo artist with the release of Imagine the following year.
Despite the success of Lennon’s solo career, his legacy is foremost as a Beatle. In honor of Lennon’s impressive and colorful life, here’s a look back at the group’s greatest performances.
The Ed Sullivan Show — February 9, 1964
This milestone event marked the Beatles' so-termed "Invasion" of U.S. airwaves. Their first live performance in America, the broadcast attracted an unheard of 73 million viewers.
Shea Stadium — August 15, 1965
Playing for a crowd of over 55,000, the group kicked off their Shea Stadium concert with a rendition of "Twist and Shout."
London Rooftop Performance — January 30, 1969
The Beatles' powerful rooftop set marked their final performance as a collective.
David Frost’s Frost On Sunday — September 8, 1968
In this intimate performance, "Hey Jude" was shared with television audiences for the first time.
Royal Variety Performance — November 4, 1963
The Beatles performed for the Queen, asking wealthy members of the audience to "rattle [their] jewelry" in lieu of applause.