John Lennon, the songwriting genius and founder of The Beatles – a man who gave the world beautiful music that continues to stir the human spirit long after his death – died on this day in history, December 8, 1980 in New York City. done.
He was 40 years old.
“An unrecognizable tragedy,” legendary sportscaster Howard Kozel shocked the nation near midnight when he interrupted the dramatic final seconds of his Monday Night Football broadcast.
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“John Lennon, perhaps the most famous of all the Beatles, was shot twice in the back outside an apartment building on New York’s West Side. He was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital. He died on arrival.”
Cosell’s dramatic remarks on national television were the first many Americans heard of the legendary musician’s death decades before news spread instantly on the Internet. After initial reports, the world learned that Lennon had been shot four times.
Lennon ignited pop culture mania in the 1960s with The Beatles.
He went on to a very successful career as a solo artist and peace activist in the 1970s.
He was shot outside the Dakota residence on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at 10:50 p.m. and pronounced dead at a hospital 25 minutes later.
– His music made people happy. — 12-year-old fan Ethan Doyle
Crazy fan Mark David Chapman, who took an autograph from the musician a few hours before, pleaded guilty to the murder of Lennon in 1981.
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An estimated 100,000 Beatles fans flooded the Dakota and Central Park hours after the tragedy, which brought traffic to a standstill for several blocks of Manhattan.
John Lennon’s sobriety never ended.
The beautiful domed entrance to Dakota State, where Lennon was killed, is today a global pilgrimage site.
Also, a corner of the central park in front of the residence was named Strawberry Fields in honor of Lennon after the famous Beatles song.
Both sites evoke emotion and reflection for visitors from around the world, many of whom were born long after Lennon’s assassination.
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“His music made people happy,” said Ethan Doyle, 12, of Philadelphia, accompanied by his mother Monique and brother Brody, 9, on Wednesday.
“This place is important.”
The strawberry fields are highlighted by a black-and-white tile mosaic on the central parkway, a reference to one of Lennon’s most famous solo tunes, “Imagine.”
The sounds of Lennon and the other Beatles – Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – as well as the quiet hum of a parade of fans fill Strawberry Fields all day, every day.
It is a testament to the power of Lennon’s music that 42 years after the artist last walked the earth, it continues to capture and resonate with aliens.
“I play here four or five times a week, and people have their- you can see him crying,” said the New York musician. The fields are forever.”
“You see, people are silently crying to themselves.” – New York musician Jules Avalon
The 72nd Street subway station directly below the Dakota boasts navy blue plaques in Lennon’s honor, as well as the words “Imagine” in cloudy white on one of the walls.
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Born in Liverpool, England, Lennon took the No. 1 spot. In 2002, a BBC readers’ poll ranked Queen Elizabeth I, who ruled England for 45 years in the 16th century, and Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, the naval hero who saved the island nation in battle, in the list of the 100 greatest Britons of all time in 1805. Trafalgar.
He and the Beatles burst onto the British music scene in 1963 and became a worldwide sensation the following year.
The Beatles made their dramatic American debut in 1964, just 16 years before Lennon’s assassination, at what is now Broadway’s Ed Sullivan Theatre.
Abbey Road, released by The Beatles in 1969, was the 12th best-selling album of 2022.
It is only 18 blocks south of Dakota.
The Beatles disbanded in 1970, having written, recorded and released many hit songs in less than a decade that are still recognized as pop culture standards today.
It was a profound period of artistic production in such a short period of time – and rarely has there been in the history of music.
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In 2022, thanks to the magic of modern technology, Lennon performed with his former songwriter Paul McCartney.
McCartney sang a duet with Lennon on his American tour this year, featuring the late bandmate’s vocals taken from The Beatles’ famous 1969 concert in London.
One of the great testaments to The Beatles’ enduring appeal comes from Billboard.
The classic 1969 album Abbey Road by The Beatles was the 12th best-selling album of the year – here in 2022.
“Like most of us, he was often selfish and unpleasant,” wrote the influential British entertainment magazine New Musical Express in a December 1980 obituary of Lennon.
“But he never felt sorry for himself or herself … He gave. He shared. And now [that] he’s gone, and we seem diminished.”