JOHN LENNON is one of the most iconic singers of the 20th century – but who is his wife Yoko Ono?
Yoko Ono is known for her relationship with John Lennon, which many fans blamed for the break up of the Beatles.She is an artist and musician in her own right, but a great deal of her life was spent maintaining the legacy of her husband. So who is Yoko Ono and how did she meet her husband and the Beatles?
Yoko Ono was born on February 18, 1933, in Tokyo, Japan.
After years moving back and forth between Tokyo and the USA with her banker father, the family were forced to stay in Tokyo during World War Two and the fire-bombing which devastated the city.
The Ono family were forced to beg for food after the war, until Ono could return to school in 1946.
After time in New York with her family, and a college career at Sarah Lawrence College, Ono eloped with Japanese composers Toshi Ichiyanagi in 1956.
Their marriage was short-lived and they filed for divorce in 1962, around the time Ono went home to live with her parents as she struggled with mental health issues.
After this Ono married Anthony Cox, a jazz musician, and she gave birth to a daughter Kyoko Chan Cox.
Their marriage was not successful, but they stayed together for their careers, as Cox did a great deal of the childcare as well as managing publicity for Onos artistic career.
In 1966, a few years before her divorce from Cox, Ono met John Lennon at a gallery in London, where she was putting together an exhibition.
Some reports suggest Lennon had wanted to hammer a nail into a block of wood, as part of Onos piece Hammer a Nail, but before the gallery was officially open.
Ono stopped him, forcing him to pay five shillings for the honour, though he reportedly replied: “I’ll give you an imaginary five shillings and hammer an imaginary nail in.”
In 1968, Lennon invited Ono to stay with him while his wife and son Cynthia and Julian were away. They returned to find Ono in a bathrobe in the house, drinking tea.
Ono became pregnant with Lennons baby in November the same year, but miscarried weeks after Lennons divorce from Cynthia was finalised.
In February 1969 Ono divorced Cox, and in March she married Lennon, and the pair began their long collaboration.
The couple were involved in anti-war protests and soon became a focus of the news for their personal lives rather than their work, which even led Ono to become a symbol of why the Beatles broke up in 1970.
Despite the pair collaborating musically, they had a short separation due to mounting pressure over The Beatles split, and Onos separation from her daughter as she went through a custody battle with her ex.
During this time, referred to by Lennon as “the lost weekend”, the star had a relationship with May Pang, his wife’s assistant, which was given Onos blessing at the end of 1973.
By the end of 1974, he reunited with Ono after their separation, though it was reported he was given permission to see Pang as a “mistress.”
Lennon and Onos son Sean was born on October 9, 1975, after which Lennon took a hiatus from the music industry to care for his son.
However, in 1980, Lennon was shot by an obsessed fan outside their home in Manhattan.
Since Lennon’s death, Ono has continued to create art and music, and has also worked to maintain Lennons legacy by founding various projects, including the John Lennon Peach Monument in Liverpool.
She and her son Sean were the beneficiaries of Lennons will.