John Lennon, a former member of the Beatles, the rock group that transformed popular music in the 1960s, was shot and killed by an obsessed fan in New York City.
The 40-year-old artist was entering his luxury Manhattan apartment building when Mark David Chapman shot him four times at close range with a .38-caliber revolver.
Lennon, bleeding profusely, was rushed to the hospital but died en route.
Chapman had received an autograph from Lennon earlier in the day and voluntarily remained at the scene of the shooting until he was arrested by police.
For a week, hundreds of bereaved fans kept a vigil outside the Dakota–Lennon’s apartment building–and demonstrations of mourning were held around the world.
John Lennon was one half of the singing-songwriting team that made the Beatles the most popular musical group of the 20th century.
The other band leader was Paul McCartney, but the rest of the quartet–George Harrison and Ringo Starr–sometimes penned and sang their own songs as well.
Hailing from Liverpool, England, and influenced by early American rock and roll, the Beatles took Britain by storm in 1963 with the single “Please Please Me.”
“Beatlemania” spread to the United States in 1964 with the release of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” followed by a sensational U.S. tour.
With youth poised to break away from the culturally rigid landscape of the 1950s, the “Fab Four,” with their exuberant music and good-natured rebellion, were the perfect catalyst for the shift.