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It was 80 years ago today: Late Beatle John Lennon's milestone birthday marked with tribute events

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New York Times Co./Larry C. Morris/Getty Images

Today marks what would have been John Lennon‘s 80th birthday. Born in Liverpool, U.K., on October 9, 1940, the singer, songwriter and guitarist went on to change the music world and the cultural landscape as a member of The Beatles and as a solo artist.

As you’d expect, a variety of events have been scheduled to pay homage to Lennon and mark the 80th anniversary of his birth.

A tribute concert called “Dear John” will stream on the Blurred Vision Music‘s YouTube channel starting at 3 p.m. ET. The event, which will be hosted from the Hard Rock Hotel London, will feature performances or appearances by Peter Gabriel, 10cc‘s Graham Gouldman, ex-Dire Straits bassist John Illsley, Cutting Crew frontman Nick Van Eede and more. In addition to saluting Lennon, the show will raise funds for the War Child UK charity.

Meanwhile, the 40th annual edition of the Theatre Within organization’s “John Lennon Tribute Concert” will be a virtual event this year that will stream for free at LennonTribute40.org from 7 p.m. ET this evening through midnight ET on October 12. Among the confirmed performers are Jackson Browne, Patti Smith, Jorma Kaukonen, Taj Mahal, Natalie Merchant, Rosanne Cash and others.

The concert is sanctioned by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, and raises money for Theatre Within’s John Lennon Real Love Project, which provides music and other creative activities to children in hospitals, schools and in-need communities.

Also taking place today will be the annual lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower, a memorial art piece Ono conceived as a tribute to her late husband. The tower remains lit until December 8, the anniversary of Lennon’s death.  A live stream of the light tower will be viewable at ImaginePeaceTower.com.

Visit JohnLennon.com for more news about Lennon 80th birthday celebrations.

By Matt Friedlander
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