Yoko Ono Receives ‘Imagine’ Songwriting Credit 46 Years Later

The National Music Publishers Association just gave the Centennial Award (Song of the Century) to “Imagine,” whose songwriting credit, up until recently, extended to John Lennon alone. But before the prestigious award was given, NMPA Chief Executive David Israelite shared vintage 1980 BBC interview audio of Lennon speaking on how much credit was due to his wife, Yoko Ono.

“Actually that should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it — the lyric and the concept — came from Yoko,” he said. “But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of ‘Grapefruit,’ her book. There’s a whole pile of pieces about ‘Imagine this’ and ‘Imagine that.'”

It was announced Wednesday that the process to give Ono official songwriting credit had begun. An absolutely delighted and overwhelmed Ono graciously accepted the award with tears.

But perhaps no one was more thrilled than John and Yoko’s son, Sean. He posted on his Facebook and Instagram, saying “(it was the) proudest day of my life.”

Lennon’s Imagine album topped the charts in 1971 everywhere, and its title track “Imagine” hit no.1 in the UK in 1975.

Feature photo by Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 – negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang 2.24.01.05, bestanddeelnummer 922-2301 – Nationaal Archief, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, via Wiki.

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