Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono lead tributes to John Lennon on 40th anniversary of his death

"I will always be proud and happy to have known and worked with this incredible Scouser!"

Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono have paid an emotional tribute to John Lennon on the 40th anniversary of the late music icon’s death.

Lennon was shot dead by Mark David Chapman outside the entrance to New York’s Dakota apartment building, where he was living with Ono, his wife, on December 8 1980.

Paying tribute on Twitter, McCartney shared a photo of the pair sitting together in a recording studio prior to Lennon’s death.

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“A sad sad day but remembering my friend John with the great joy he brought to the world. I will always be proud and happy to have known and worked with this incredible Scouser! X love Paul,” he captioned the photo.

Ono, meanwhile, used the opportunity to campaign against gun violence in the U.S.

“The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 40 years, Sean, Julian and I still miss him,” she wrote.

Sharing the lyrics to Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, she added: ‘Imagine all the people living life in peace”. Ono accompanied the post with a graphic that highlighted the seriousness of gun violence in the U.S.

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Ringo Starr, meanwhile, urged radio stations across the globe to play ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ in honour of his former bandmate.

NME’s obituary for John Lennon in 1980 said: “Let’s not allow our grief to turn into a misplaced despair. That was not what John Lennon’s life was for; just the opposite. He said that if The Beatles had any message it was to learn to swim… “Don’t expect John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, The Beatles
The Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney CREDIT: Fox Photos/Getty Images

“If you really loved and believed in John Lennon, that’s exactly what you’ll do. He made something good and valuable and enduring from his life. We should all try and do the same.”

Chapman who is now 65, was denied parole for the eleventh time in August. 

He is currently serving a 20-years-to-life sentence at Wende Correctional Facility in Erie County, New York, having pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

McCartney also discussed his bandmate’s murder in a recent interview, telling The New York Times that it was a “senseless act”.

“It’s difficult for me to think about,” he said.

“I rerun the scenario in my head. Very emotional. So much so that I can’t really think about it. It kind of implodes.

“What can you think about that besides anger, sorrow?” he continued. “Like any bereavement, the only way out is to remember how good it was with John. Because I can’t get over the senseless act. I can’t think about it.”

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