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Yoko Ono is a multimedia artist who became known worldwide in the 1960s when she married Beatles front man John Lennon.
John Lennon - Mini Biography (7:55)
Elliot Mintz discusses the relationship of Yoko Ono and John Lennon.
A short biography of John Lennon, from his superstardom with the Beatles to his fame as a solo artist and social activist, to his marriage to Yoko Ono. In 1980, Lennon was gunned down by Mark David Chapman.
Watch a short video about John Lennon and Yoko Ono to learn how the creative couple met and made sweet music together.
Paul McCartney's work with the Beatles in the 1960s helped lift popular music from its origins in the entertainment business and transform it into a creative, highly commercial art form.
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Yoko Ono first met John Lennon of the Beatles in November 1966, when he visited a preview of her exhibition at a gallery in London. They began an affair approximately 18 months later and married in March 1969. The couple collaborated on art, film and musical projects until 1980, when Lennon was shot by a deranged fan. Ono has continued her art career as well as efforts to honor Lennon's memory,
What can you do to create a peaceful world? Just be what you really are—a person who is kind.
Walk barefoot on the grass and dance in the wind. Do it in your mind.
including starting the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace Prize in 2002.
Multimedia artist and performer Yoko Ono was born on February 18, 1933, in Tokyo, Japan, the eldest of three children born to Eisuke and Isoko, a wealthy aristocratic family. Her father, who worked for the Yokohama Specie Bank, was transferred to San Francisco, California, two weeks before she was born. The rest of the family soon followed. Her father was transferred back to Japan in 1937, and she susbequently enrolled at the elite Peers School (formerly known as the Gakushuin School) in Tokyo.
The family moved to New York in 1940, then back to Japan in 1941, when her father was transferred to Hanoi on the eve of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Ono remained in Tokyo through World War II, including the great firebombing of 1945. At the age of 18, Ono moved with her parents to Scarsdale, New York. She studied at Sarah Lawrence College, but left to elope with her first husband, Toshi Ichiyanagi.
Settling in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, Ono developed an interest in art and began writing poetry. Considered too radical by many, her work was not well-received, but she gained recognition after working with American jazz musician/film producer Anthony Cox, who later became her second husband. Cox financed and helped coordinate her "interactive conceptual events" in the early 1960s.
Ono's work often demands the viewers' participation and forces them to get involved. Her most famous piece was the "cut piece" staged in 1964, where the audience was invited to cut off pieces of her clothing until she was naked, an abstract commentary on discarding materialism.
Ono first met John Lennon of the English rock band the Beatles on November 9, 1966, when he visited a preview of her exhibition at the Indica Gallery in London, England. Lennon was taken with the positive, interactive nature of her work. He especially cited a ladder leading up to a black canvas with a spyglass on a chain, which revealed the word "yes" written on the ceiling. The two began an affair approximately 18 months later. Lennon divorced his first wife, Cynthia (with whom he had a son, Julian, born in 1963), and married Ono on March 20, 1969.
The couple collaborated on art, film and musical projects, and became famous for their series of "conceptual events" to promote world peace, including the "bed-in" held in an Amsterdam hotel room during their honeymoon in 1969.
Ono and Lennon became parents in 1975 with the arrival of their son, Sean. Lennon quit the music business to raise Sean.
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Yoko Ono met John Lennon in 1966 during a preview of Ono's art exhibition at a London gallery. The began an affair a year later and, after Cynthia Lennon filed for divorce, married in 1969. In addition to collaborating on numerous recordings, including Two Virgins and "Give Peace a Chance," the couple held "Bed-ins for Peace" to protest the Vietnam War. After the Beatles's breakup, they moved to New York, where their son, Sean Ono Lennon, was born in 1975. Lennon was shot and killed outside their apartment building on December 8, 1980. In his memory, Ono founded the Strawberry fields Memorial in Central Park, the John Lennon Museum in her hometown of Saitama, Japan, and the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, Iceland.
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