Music

Yoko Ono Is Finally Getting Credit for the Song John Lennon Said He Wrote Alone

His biggest solo hit is actually an Ono-Lennon song.
IMAGE Getty
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John Lennon might have been one of the greatest songwriters of all time, but it's no secret that he was also a total asshole. And yesterday, at the annual meeting of the National Music Publishers Association, CEO David Israelite announced that Yoko Ono will receive a co-writing credit on "Imagine," Lennon's 1971 hit that he originally claimed he wrote on his own.

At the meeting, Israelite played a clip of Lennon in which he admitted that the song, "should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it—the lyric and the concept—came from Yoko. But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of Grapefruit, her book. There's a whole pile of pieces about 'Imagine this' and 'Imagine that.'"

So, in other words, the idea for the song came from Ono, but Lennon was too much of a dick to give her credit. Well, it only took 46 years, but Ono finally got the credit she deserves.

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Or, as Israelite put it:

"While things may have been different in 1971, today I am glad to say things have changed. So tonight it is my distinct honor to correct the record some 48 years later and recognize Yoko Ono as a co-writer of the NMPA centennial song 'Imagine,' and to present Yoko Ono with this well-deserved credit."

On Instagram, Ono's son Sean Lennon said that it was the proudest day of his life and that "Patience is a virtue."

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for Esquire.com
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