John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, and together with Paul McCartney formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.
Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager, his first band, The Quarrymen, evolving into The Beatles in 1960. As the group began to undergo the disintegration that led to their breakup towards the end of that decade, Lennon launched a solo career that would span the next, punctuated by critically acclaimed albums, including John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine”.
Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, his writing, on film, and in interviews, and became controversial through his work as a peace activist. 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 adapted as anthems by the anti-war movement. Disengaging himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to his family, Lennon reemerged in October 1980 with a new single and a comeback album, Double Fantasy, but was murdered weeks after their release.