Factbox: Who was John Lennon?

Wed Oct 6, 2010 11:50am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Saturday, fans and family will celebrate what would have been singer/songwriter John Lennon's 70th birthday.

Here are five facts on Lennon:

-- Lennon, along with Paul McCartney, is considered one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the 20th century. He was voted the greatest rock 'n' roll icon of all time in a poll conducted by Q music magazine in 2004.

-- Born in Liverpool, England, on October 9, 1940, Lennon formed his first band, The Quarrymen, in 1957, which went on to become The Beatles the next year with the addition of McCartney and George Harrison. The Beatles, which disbanded in 1970, are estimated to have sold more than a billion records worldwide.

-- "Imagine," probably Lennon's most popular solo album, was released in 1971. Its title track, a Utopian song by the same name, has been adopted by peace activists around the world as an unofficial anthem. "Imagine" is also the official song of the human rights organization Amnesty International.

-- Lennon was married twice and had a son with each wife. Lennon and Yoko Ono, his second wife, held "bed-ins" during their honeymoon in 1969, allowing the world press into their hotel room as a show of protest against the Vietnam War.

-- Lennon was gunned down by a crazed fan outside his New York apartment on December 8, 1980. The assassin, Mark Chapman, said 10 years later that by killing the ex-Beatle he had murdered an age of innocence.

Sources: Reuters; www.johnlennon.com