John Lennon 30th Anniversary Today

In tribute to John Lennon who was murdered 30 years ago today, PRS for Music, the organisation that collects royalties for songwriters and composers, has published the top 10 most performed John Lennon songs from the past 5 years.

Lennon, who was shot by Mark Chapman on December 8th 1980 aged 40, is arguably the world’s greatest songwriter, who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles and, with Paul McCartney, formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.

Taking the top spot is his track ‘Imagine’ with over 12 million performances.  The track went to number 1 across the globe and became his signature song.  The song was written as a plea for world peace.

Most Played John Lennon hits:

  1. Imagine John Lennon 1971 - Imagine 
  2. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) John Lennon / Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band 1972 (single) 
  3. Jealous Guy John Lennon 1971 - Imagine 
  4. Woman John Lennon 1980 – Double Fantasy 
  5. Instant Karma John Lennon 1970 (single)
  6. Working Class Hero John Lennon / Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band 1970 – John Lennon/ Plastic Ono Band  
  7. Starting Over John Lennon   1980 – Double Fantasy 
  8. Give Peace A Chance John Lennon / Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band 1969 (single) 
  9. Watching The Wheels John Lennon 1981 – Double Fantasy 
  10. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) John Lennon 1980 – Double Fantasy 

Source: PRS for Music performance data


Lennon's iconic songs inspired and symbolised the ideals of the masses so it’s no surprise that 30 years after his death his songs are still as popular as ever.  His invaluable  contribution to the music industry has shaped and inspired countless other musicians. It is absolutely right and fitting to remember him on this anniversary and for the effect his song catalogue has had on all of our lives.

Ellis Rich, Chairman of PRS for Music
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