Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Pay Tribute to John Lennon on 40th Anniversary of His Death

Julian and Sean Lennon also honor their late father

John Lennon Paul McCartney
John Lennon and Paul McCartney, photo by Linda McCartney

    Today, December 8th, marks the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. The Beatles’ two surviving members, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, have both posted tributes to their former bandmate, as have Lennon’s two sons, Sean and Julian. Update: Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, has also paid homage to her late husband.

    “A sad sad day but remembering my friend John with the great joy he brought to the world,” wrote McCartney in a social media post. “I will always be proud and happy to have known and worked with this incredible Scouse X love Paul.” McCartney’s tribute was accompanied by a photo of the two musicians together as taken by his late wife, Linda McCartney.

    Starr publicly called on “Every music radio station in the world sometime today to play [The Beatles’] ‘Strawberry Field'” in Lennon’s honor.

    Yoko Ono used the anniversary to deliver a message against gun violence. “The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 40 years, Sean, Julian and I still miss him,” she wrote before quoting a line to Lennon’s “Imagine”: “Imagine all the people living life in peace.” Ono attached an image about the number of people shot and killed by guns since Lennon’s death.

    Julian Lennon, John’s oldest son, posted a photo of his late father alongside the caption, “As Time Goes By….” His half-brother, Sean Ono Lennon, meanwhile shared a childhood photo of himself with his his father, mother, and Julian.

    John Lennon was murdered at the age of 40 on December 8th, 1980. The man responsible, Mark David Chapman, was recently denied parole for an 11th time.


    To coincide with Lennon’s 80th birthday earlier this year, Sean Ono Lennon hosted a multi-part radio documentary for BBC Radio. During the program, McCartney spoke about significance of reconciling with John prior to his death: “It really, really would have been a heartache to me if we hadn’t have reunited. It was so lovely too that we did, and it really gives me sort of strength to know that.”