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Uploaded on May 29, 2011

John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (9 October 1940 -- 8 December 1980) was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Along with fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved as a teenager in the skiffle craze; his first band, The Quarrymen, evolved into The Beatles in 1960. As the group disintegrated towards the end of the decade, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine". Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to his family, but re-emerged in 1980 with a new album, Double Fantasy. He was murdered by Mark Chapman three weeks after its release. Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, his writing, his drawings, on film, and in interviews, and he became controversial through his political and peace activism. He moved to New York City in 1971, where his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon's administration to deport him, while his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement. As of 2010, Lennon's solo album sales in the United States exceed 14 million units, and as writer, co-writer or performer, he is responsible for 27 number-one singles on the US Hot 100 chart. In 2002, a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted him eighth, and in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all-time. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Lennon was born in war-time England, on 9 October 1940 at Liverpool Maternity Hospital, to Julia and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman who was away at the time of his son's birth.[1] He was named John Winston Lennon after his paternal grandfather, John "Jack" Lennon, and then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill.[2] His father was often away from home but sent regular pay cheques to 9 Newcastle Road, Liverpool, where Lennon lived with his mother,[3] but the cheques stopped when he went absent without leave in February 1944.[4][5] When he eventually came home six months later, he offered to look after the family, but Julia—by then pregnant with another man's child—rejected the idea.[6] After her sister, Mimi Smith, twice complained to Liverpool's Social Services, Julia handed the care of Lennon over to her. In July 1946, Lennon's father visited Smith and took his son to Blackpool, secretly intending to emigrate to New Zealand with him.[7] Julia followed them—with her partner at the time, 'Bobby' Dykins—and after a heated argument his father forced the five-year-old to choose between them. Lennon twice chose his father, but as his mother walked away, he began to cry and followed her.[8] It would be 20 years before he had contact with his father again. Throughout the rest of his childhood and adolescence, he lived with his aunt and uncle, Mimi and George Smith, who had no children of their own, at Mendips, 251 Menlove Avenue, Woolton.[10] His aunt bought him volumes of short stories, and his uncle, a dairyman at his family's farm, bought him a mouth organ and engaged him in solving crossword puzzles.[11] Julia visited Mendips on a regular basis, and when he was 11 years old he often visited her at 1 Blomfield Road, Liverpool, where she played him Elvis Presley records, and taught him the banjo, learning how to play "Ain't That a Shame" by Fats Domino. In September 1980 he talked about his family and his rebellious nature: Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic musician. But I cannot be what I am not. Because of my attitude, all the other boys' parents ... instinctively recognised what I was, which was a troublemaker, meaning I did not conform and I would influence their kids, which I did. ... I did my best to disrupt every friend's home ... Partly, maybe, it was out of envy that I didn't have this so-called home, but I really did ... There were five women who were my family. Five strong, intelligent women. Five sisters. Those women were fantastic ... that was my first feminist education ... One happened to be my mother ... she just couldn't deal with life. She had a husband who ran away to sea and the war was on and she couldn't cope with me, and when I was four-and-a-half, I ended up living with her elder sister ... the fact that I wasn't with my parents made me see that parents are not gods.

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