John Lennon, born John Winston Lennon (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980), was a former member of The Beatles.
Though none of the Beatles were as successful on their own as they were as a group, John Lennon was considered by many to have the most raw talent. He struggled with drug addiction, however, and several of his songs related to his habit, such as "Cold Turkey."
After a self-imposed five-year break from music to focus on his family and raising his young son Sean, Lennon produced a new album with his Japanese wife Yoko Ono in 1980, entitled Double Fantasy. Less than a month after its release Lennon was shot dead outside his apartment building by a crazed fan named Mark David Chapman.
Lennon's most famous individual work is "Imagine", a song that beseeches us to imagine a world not dominated by greed, war, and hatred, but one governed by love, where all people are "living life in peace." At the end of the song Lennon encourages the listener to join him in dreaming of this world, implying that there is hope for humanity to rise above its weaknesses, anger, and hate.
He remains a hero in Britain, where he was ranked in the top 10 of the 2002 "100 Greatest Britons" poll sponsored by the BBC.
In June of 2007, Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur was released. The album, whose proceeds went to liberal group Amnesty International's campaign on behalf of Sudan's war-torn province of Darfur, featured artists of yesterday and today, such as U2, REM, Green Day, and Corinne Bailey Raye covering Lennon's work.
Poor family life
There are several reports of John Lennon treating his family cruelly. For example, Sean Lennon reported that his father screamed so loud in his ear that he damaged his ear, and he had to go to the hospital.
Lennon's most famous quote regarding Christianity was in 1966:
- Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first — rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.
After Christians worldwide criticized his attitude, misquoting him as saying "We are greater than Jesus," Lennon held a press conference on August 11, 1966, in Chicago at which he elaborated:
- I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it. I'm sorry I opened my mouth. I'm not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I wasn't knocking it or putting it down. I was just saying it as a fact and it's true more for England than here. I'm not saying that we're better or greater, or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing or whatever it is. I just said what I said and it was wrong. Or it was taken wrong. And now it's all this.