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Written in 1971 and described by Rolling Stone as “an enduring hymn of solace and promise that has carried us through extreme grief,” John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a living, breathing piece of work that not only remains relevant more than 40 years after its birth but whose legacy continues to evolve far beyond Lennon’s initial concept. Thanks to a recent development during this year’s annual meeting of the National Music Publishers Association, “Imagine” is about to take another leap into history as it’s been revealed that Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, is slated to receive songwriting credit as per one of her late husband’s final wishes.
Fun Fact: “Imagine” earned a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
Which, great; according to a 1980 video produced by NMPA CEO David Israelite, Lennon credited Yoko Ono’s “influence and inspiration” to the inception of “Imagine” and expressed his desire to see that reflected in the form of songwriting credit. However, it’s not as simple as slapping her name on a label and calling it done – though Ono’s status as Lennon’s widow and beneficiary will make the process run a little smoother than usual, there are still legal hurdles to leap, including the fact that the addition of Ono’s name in the songwriting credits will set back the song’s entry into public domain for several decades with a target date of February 15, 2067.
Ouch. Here’s hoping that Yoko’s addition to the credits doesn’t gum up the works too badly!