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Beatles drummer Ringo Starr celebrates 80th birthday

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT
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(Gray News) - Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is celebrating his 80th birthday on Tuesday.

Born Richard Starkey in Liverpool, England, on July 7, 1940, he would take on his stage name Ringo Starr in his late teens. His musical career has encompassed eight decades, but he is remembered best for his time with the legendary rock group.

Starr wasn’t the original Beatles drummer. He played with a few bands in the late 1950s and early 1960s before replacing Pete Best in 1962. One year later, The Beatles, made up of Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, took the world by storm with numerous chart-topping hits.

While Starr was primarily the drummer for the band’s songs, he helped write several popular tunes, including “Octopus’ Garden” and “Don’t Pass Me By.” He also sang lead vocals on some popular Beatles songs, including “Yellow Submarine” and “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

When The Beatles broke up in 1970, Starr would go on to have a very successful career as a solo musician. His self-titled 1973 album “Ringo” was certified platinum, and the lead single “Photograph” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100. A cover of “You’re Sixteen” also reached the top of the charts.

He would also form the live touring supergroup Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, which has featured many legendary rock musicians since its formation in 1989. Starr is a two-time inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with The Beatles and as a solo artist.

His most recent solo album “What’s My Name” was released in 2019. He still actively performs, although he had to cancel dates in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For his 80th birthday, Starr will broadcast a performance to benefit several charitable causes. Several musicians will be featured on the show including Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh and Willie Nelson.

“As everyone knows I love gathering with fans for peace and love on my birthday. But this year, I want everyone to be safe at home - so I called up a few friends and we put this Big Birthday Show together so we could still celebrate my birthday with you all, with some great music for some great charities,” Starr said.

Starr is one of two Beatles still alive, and he is the oldest of The Fab Four. McCartney is 78 years old.

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