John Lennon has been gone for almost 35 years, but his message still resonates.
And his music...
Well, as good today as ever.
The Beatles heartthrob, singer-songwriter, activist and visionary would have been 75 today and all around the world people have been taking part in birthday celebrations in honor of the late artist.
His music, which ranged from the Lennon-McCartney hits he penned and performed in the 1960s to the timeless anthems he wrote as a solo artist and with wife Yoko Ono, has been at the center of most tributes. But his other legacy was his vision of a more peaceful world—a concept that could be achieved, in Lennon's mind, if people could focus on living their best life and treating other people well today.
Well, we're not quite there yet. But his words, or the music he set his message to, haven't been forgotten and that's reflected in the way people have chosen to pay tribute to his memory.
Here's a sampling of the celebrations taking place for John Lennon's 75th:
The Social Network: Get in on paying tribute to John right now, using the hashtag #JL75, the official hashtag being encouraged by The Beatles Story museum in their hometown of Liverpool, which if of course marking the occasion today and kicking off an anti-hunger campaign, Imagine No Food Poverty.
Courtesy: NYPD of Central Park/Twitter
Giving Peace Another Chance: In tribute to John, who was shot to death on Dec. 8, 1980, outside their Manhattan apartment building, Yoko Ono entreated fans to join her in forming the world's biggest peace sign earlier this week. On Oct. 6, more than 2,000 people gathered in Central Park's East Meadow to make it happen. They didn't break the world record but there was singing, dancing and thousands of people wearing #ImaginePeace wristbands and Lennon memorabilia flashing the peace sign. The event was free but any donations were to go toward the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a pro audio and video recording facility for students.
Baked by Melissa
The Sweet Life: A world record for biggest cupcake art mosaic was broken, however, by Baked by Melissa, which constructed a tie-dye peace sign mosaic made out of 40,000 cupcakes in front of Central Park's Bethesda Fountain in collaboration with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.
Baked by Melissa
Family History: Sean Lennon happens to share a birthday with his iconic father, who died when he was 5. Asked five years ago what he would be doing to celebrate his own special day, he said that it would be solely about his dad, and we imagine that every milestone year—Sean is 40 today—has been like that. "It's too much of an important day to think of my birthday—it's all about being there for mum and remembering dad," the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger artist said in 2010. "I try not to think, 'What if?' But it gets hard for me to imagine what life would have been like if he had lived. I just think it's sad that I've never been able to enjoy an adult relationship [with my dad] like I had with my mum and my friends. But I try not to beat my head against the wall asking what could have been."
Shining Bright: For the ninth straight year since it opened in 2007, Ono's Imagine Peace Tower off the coast of Reykjavik, Iceland, will be lit on Oct. 9, Lennon's birthday, and remain so until the 35th anniversary of John's death, Dec. 8. "I hope the Imagine Peace Tower will give light to the strong wishes of World Peace from all corners of the planet," Ono said in a new statement. "And give encouragement, inspiration and a sense of solidarity in a world now filled with fear and confusion. Let us come together to realize a peaceful world."
Andre Csillag/Rex/REX USA
Coming Together: Fans have been invited to gather at 6 p.m. L.A. time with candles and flowers for live performances, street art and a singalong at Lennon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Capitol Records building.
Check Your Local Listings: Tribute concerts are planned all over the place, from Seattle and Bellevue, Wash., to Washington, D.C., and New Haven, Conn., to Liverpool and London.
And we'll let Lennon himself play you out...