'Fifth Beatle' George Martin dies aged 90

Wed Mar 9, 2016 7:18am EST
 
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LOS ANGELES/LONDON (Reuters) - George Martin, known as "the fifth Beatle" for his work in shaping the band that became one of the world's most influential music forces, has died at the age of 90.

He was considered the most successful music producer ever, cited in the Guinness Book of Records for having more than 50 No. 1 hit records over five decades in the United States and Britain alone.

He helped score, arrange, and produce many of the band's biggest hits, including "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "A Day in the Life", “Yesterday”, "Eleanor Rigby" and "Love Me Do".

"I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin," Beatle Paul McCartney said in a statement on Wednesday.

"If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George."

A statement from Martin's family confirmed he had died peacefully at his home on Tuesday evening.

Earlier, Ringo Starr, the Beatles' drummer, had announced his death on Twitter: "God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family... George will be missed."

Starr followed the message by posting a black and white photo of the Fab Four with Martin, saying "Thank you for all your love and kindness George."

Martin served as producer, collaborator and mentor to Beatles John Lennon, George Harrison, McCartney and Starr.   Continued...

 
Tourists walk on a zebra crossing to recreate the Abbey Road album cover by The Beatles, outside the Abbey Road recording studios in London, Britain March 9, 2016. George Martin, known as "the fifth Beatle" for his work in shaping the band that became one of the world's most influential music forces, has died at the age of 90.  REUTERS/Neil Hall