The Strawberry Fields memorial to the musician in New York’s Central Park

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The Strawberry Fields memorial to the musician in New York's Central Park
The Strawberry Fields memorial to the musician in New York's Central Park

Late Beatles star and musical legend John Lennon would have been celebrating his 80th birthday today, October 9, and various events are set to mark the day.

The musician, who was shot dead at the age of 40 in New York in 1980, has continued to have an enduring influence on popular culture long after his murder.

Following a chance encounter with his future bandmate Paul McCartney at a church fete in 1957, he went on to change the course of musical history with a body of work which has stood the test of time.

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After helping to propel The Beatles to international stardom and securing their place as one of the world’s biggest ever bands, Lennon continued to enjoy a varied career.

Following the band’s breakup in 1970, the Liverpudlian released his debut solo effort John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band in the same year, which included the likes of Mother and Working Class Hero.

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Less than a year later came Imagine, whose title track has become inextricably linked to his legacy.

The Strawberry Fields memorial to the musician in New York’s Central Park, where Lennon’s ashes are scattered, features a mosaic bearing the word.

Lennon’s landmark birthday is being marked with a pop-up television channel called LENNON80 which will feature special programming.

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It will feature Bed Peace, the documentary charting Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In For Peace in Montreal, Canada, in 1969, as well as their 1971 interview on Parkinson.

Universal Music Group is launching the channel on Sky, Virgin and Freeview from today until October 15.

His birthday is also being marked in Liverpool, where the council has launched a worldwide contest to find another great songwriter.

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