The chances are that you may already know that when answering the question of what The Beatles look like now, we must first acknowledge the facts that two of them are no longer with, as John Lennon was tragically murdered in 1980 and George Harrison sadly passed away in 2001.
Here however, we will revisit the extraordinary lives of Beatles’ members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, who to this day remain the best-selling musical group in history, having sold over 800 million albums worldwide.
As of 2017, they still hold the record for the most No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 chart and have received 10 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score, and group as well as individual inductions in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As a band, they were also cited in Time’s compilation of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Often known as “the quiet Beatle,” George Harrison was the Beatles’ lead guitarist, who unfortunately passed away in November of 2001. During his life, George was a fan of Eastern spirituality, embracing Hinduism, and leading his band mates to explore broader horizons and even incorporate Indian instruments in some of their music. While John and Paul where the group’s main songwriters, George too contributed a number of songs, including “Here Comes the Sun,” “Something,” and “Taxman.”
It was in 1997 that George was diagnosed with throat cancer, a condition he publicly blamed on years of smoking. In 2001, it was also revealed that he had undergone surgery due to a cancerous growth in his lunch and was being treated for a brain tumor in Switzerland.
In November of 2001, he would meet up with band mates Ringo and Paul for the last time, before passing away at a friend’s house two weeks later in Los Angeles at the age of 58. His funeral was held at the Self-Realization Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, CA before her ashes were later scattered according to Hindu tradition in the Ganges and Yumuna rivers in India by family.
His final album, “Brainwashed” was released posthumously in 2002 after being completed by his son Dhani and Jeff Lynee. Included in its liner notes was the Bhagavad Gita quote, “There never was a time when you or I did not exist. Nor will there be any future when we shall cease to be.”
Richard Starkey, known professionally as Ringo Starr, may have achieved fame as the drummer for the Beatles, but as of 2012, was estimated to remain the richest drummer in the world and is a staple on top ten drummer lists. During his time with the Beatles, he was not only a drummer, but occasionally even sang lead vocals on songs such as "With a Little Help from My Friends" and "Yellow Submarine
After the Beatle’s went their separate ways, Ringo not only launched a successful solo career, her also continued to work with his former bandmates, drumming on albums for John Lennon and George Harrison. He and George Harrison also co-wrote the single “It Don’t Come Easy” for his 1973 album “Ringo” which would produce two #1 hits in the United States and was his best-selling solo record.
During the 1980’s, Ringo became a bandleader of his “All Star Band” which first included the Eagle’s Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren and Clarence Clemons from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, Rick Danko and Levon Helm from the Band, and Billy Preston and Dr. John, among others. Over the years, Ringo has partnered with many various artists who joined the constantly revolving project and produced a number of live albums.
Ringo also continues to release solo albums and has been married twice, the first time to Maureen Cox with whom he had three children. In 1981, he would marry Barbara Bach, alongside whom he struggled with and overcame alcoholism, and the couple remain together to this day. Ringo not only is the proud grandfather of 7 grandkids, as of 2016, he also became the first Beatle to become a great grandfather.
Though the Beatles disbanded in 1970, Paul McCartney showed no signs of slowing down and is still considered music royalty around the world. The same year he became the first Beatle to release a solo album called “McCartney” and went on to form a band called Wings that won two Grammy awards and remained popular throughout the 1970’s.
In 1969, Paul married Linda Eastman, with whom he had four children and remained together until 1998, when she tragically passed away after a long battle with cancer. After fellow Beatle John Lennon was killed outside his NYC apparment in 1980, Paul stopped touring for nearly a decade, but continued contributing to music, playing with superstars such as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. In 1994, he reunited with George and Ringo in order to work on The Beatles Anthology project and released a rock album 1997 in addition to a classical record. He would go on to continue recording and preforming live around the world and launched a tour in 2002 that would be named the top 4 tour of the year by Billboard.
In the following years he would release several new albums including “Kisses on the Bottom” and 2016’s “Pure McCartney,” an album which spanned his iconic career. His contributions to music culture remain undisputed around the Globe and have earned him a knighthood, induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and countless other honors. In 2010, he became the first non-American to receive the Gershwin prize, the highest American award a musician can receive, which was presented to him by President Barack Obama.
After the death of his first wife of nearly 30 years, Paul went on to marry twice again, the first time to Heather Mills, with whom he had a daughter in 2003, before ultimately splitting with in 2006. In 2011, he would marry again, this time to a New York businesswoman named Nancy Shevell.
Most recently, he appeared on the big screen opposite Johnny Depp in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” As far as retirement goes, the former Beatle shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
After the Beatles broke up in 1970, John released a minimalist album called “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band,” featuring a sound based on “primal-scream” therapy. Then in 1971, he went on to release “Imagine,” the most successful of his post-Beatles works, which featured a title track that was named Rolling Stone’s No. 3 All-Time Best Song.
In 1971, John and his wife Yoko Ono moved to the U.S. but were consistently threatened by deportation. Though the official reasoning was a British marijuana conviction, John always believed that the threat was more of a response to his active protest of the Vietnam War. Official documents later proved that this was indeed the case and two years after President Nixon resigned, he was given permanent U.S. residency in 1976.
During the midst of his immigration battle, he and Yoko separated briefly in 1973, during which time he moved to Los Angeles. Soon after, he would release albums “Mind Games” (1973), “Walls and Bridges” (1974) and “Rock 'n' Roll” (1975) and collaborate with music legends David Bowie and Elton Jon.
Lennon and Yoko got back together in 1974 and on his 35th birthday in 1975, she gave birth to their only child, Sean. Around that time John decided to take a break from the music business to focus on his family.
In 1980, John had just returned to the music scene with the release of “Double Fantasy,” only to be tragically shot and killed by a deranged fan in New York City a mere weeks after the album’s release. He passed away at on December 8, 1980 at the age of 40 in NYC’s Roosevelt Hospital.
His tragic and untimely death continues to be mourned by fans around the world to this day and he was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
Despite going their separate ways, it's easy to see why The Beatles have remained one of the world's favorite bands and have secured their place in history as some of the most influential people of the modern era.
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