John Lennon’s tragic death left fans of The Beatles and those in the music industry heartbroken around the world. Lennon, who was born 82 years ago, was shot as he enjoyed a walk with his beloved Yoko Ono. Four decades since the artist’s death, his former partner revealed John Lennon’s tragic final words.
John Lennon was a member of one of Britain’s most successful bands, The Beatles. Within just a decade, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John changed the music scene and inspired musicians in future generations.
The singer went from a shy Liverpool boy to being in one of the biggest rock groups in the world.
After years of success and becoming well-known worldwide, the Briton left the band in 1969. John fell head over heels for Yoko Ono, and the singer told his bandmates he was quitting. Paul McCartney later believed it was for Lennon to do ‘his thing and Yoko’s thing’, not wanting the two different periods of his life interfering with the other.
Today marks what would’ve been his 82nd birthday. The Focus looks back on what John Lennon’s final words were moments before being fatally shot by a fan.
A successful career
He found fame as a singer and guitarist of the biggest band of the 60s, The Beatles. After John found inspiration from Elvis Presley’s popularity, he first formed his own band, initially named after his school, Quarry Men.
Lennon later became friends with Paul McCartney after they met at a church fête, and eventually invited him to form a group together. Little did they know how big the powerful duo become, and the influence they would bring on in the music industry.
Years later, George Harrison and Ringo Starr joined the band, with George Martin as a producer. In 1962, the British boyband released their debut single, Love Me Do. The song peaked at number 17 on the British charts.
The Beatles are still the best-selling music act of all time, with approximately 600 million units worldwide.
Years after leaving the band, the singer returned to the music scene with his wife, Yoko Ono, and released several albums. Double Fantasy was the fifth album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, released in November 1980 on Geffen Records.
What happened to John Lennon?
On December 8, 1980, the world mourned the death of John Lennon. Lennon, then 40, was killed by Mark David Chapman, who planned the murder for months and waited for the singer.
The singer was entering his luxurious apartment building in Manhattan when Chapman shot him four times at close range in the back with an .38-caliber revolver.
The star was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, however, sadly later died from bleeding. As the world mourned the death of one of the world’s greatest artists, no one knew what led up to him being mortally wounded.
According to Newsweek, Chapman pleaded guilty to murdering the singer and was sentenced to 20 years to life imprisonment. He’s currently being held at Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York.
Even though he has been on parole every two years since he served his first two decades, the 67-year-old has been denied each time. His next appearance date will be on February 2024.
John Lennon’s final words
Yoko Ono was present when the shooting happened and has rarely spoken about that day with the media. In 2007, nearly 30 years later, the 89-year-old shared what his final words were.
During an interview with Desert Islands Discs, Yoko shared the last conversation she had before her husband tragically died.
“I said ‘shall we go and have dinner before we go home?’ and John said ‘No, let’s go home because I want to see Sean before he goes to sleep,” she revealed to Kirsty Young on Desert Islands Discs.
The Japanese multimedia artist also revealed John hadn’t told her anything after he was shot. Since the day of his death, Ono has not been romantically linked to any other man. She said that she would never be more than “an ex-Beatles wife.”
Sean Lennon, which John shared with Yoko, was only five years old at the time of his father’s death. Sharing the same birthday, Sean followed in his dad’s footsteps, carving his own path in the music industry.
Lennon also shared son Julian, now 59, with ex-wife Cynthia.