'Fifth Beatle' produced the band from their earliest days

Beatles producer Sir George Martin has died. He was 90.

A cause of death has not yet been established but Ringo Starr led the tributes to the producer, tweeting: “God bless George Martin. Peace and love to Judy and his family, love Ringo and Barbara. George will be missed.”

Adam Sharp, who represented both George and his son Giles, said in a statement: “We can confirm that Sir George Martin passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening, Tuesday 8 March. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support …

“In a career that spanned seven decades he was recognised globally as one of music’s most creative talents and a gentleman to the end. The family ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”

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C A Management, which represented Martin, has also issued the following statement: “We can confirm that Sir George Martin passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening, Tuesday March 8. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support.

“Sir George started producing records for EMI’s Parlophone label in 1950. He was noted for his comedy recordings with the likes of Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Beyond the Fringe and got his first Number 1 with The Temperance Seven in 1961. He signed The Beatles in 1962 and, with the band, helped revolutionise the art of popular music recording.

“In a career that spanned seven decades he was recognised globally as one of music’s most creative talents and a gentleman to the end. The family ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”

Regularly referred to as “the fifth Beatle”, Martin worked with the band from their earliest days and signed them to their first deal in 1962. He went on to record with the band, starting with the single ‘Love Me Do’ up to 1969 album ‘Abbey Road’.

Born in London in 1926, Martin was a member of the Royal Navy before moving into the music industry. He began working for the BBC’s Classical Music Department after World War II before moving to British record label EMI. It was while he was at the label that he was approached by manager Brian Epstein and asked to listen to The Beatles’ demo tape.

In addition to The Beatles he also worked with artists including Gerry and the Pacemakers and Shirley Bassey as well as producing records for British comedians like Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore and Bernard Cribbins.

He also produced two James Bond themes, Paul McCartney and Wings’s ‘Live and Let Die’ and ‘Goldfinger’ by Shirley Bassey.

More to follow…