Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr have marked the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder in New York.
Lennon was shot dead aged 40 in 1980 as he left his apartment in The Dakota building, but continues to have an enduring influence on popular culture.
Fellow Beatle Sir Paul, 78, shared a black and white photo of himself with Lennon, taken by his late wife Linda, and an upbeat message.
He wrote: “A sad sad day but remembering my friend John with the great joy he brought to the world. I will always be proud and happy to have known and worked with this incredible Scouser!”
Sir Ringo, 80, called on radio stations around the world to play Strawberry Fields Forever, Lennon’s psychedelic 1967 track about a children’s home close to where he grew up in Liverpool.
He wrote: “Tuesday, 8 December 1980 we all had to say goodbye to John peace and love John. I’m asking Every music radio station in the world sometime today play Strawberry Fields Forever. Peace and love.”
Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, 87, shared her own message on Twitter, describing her husband’s death as a “hollowing experience” that continued to affect her.
She said: “The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 40 years, Sean, Julian and I still miss him,” before reciting the lyrics to Imagine: “Imagine all the people living life in peace.”
Ono also marked the anniversary by posting an image of a bloodied pair of glasses in front of the New York skyline, with text reading: “Over 1,436,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980.”
Lennon’s two sons, Sean and Julian, both posted simple tributes to their father, with Julian quoting his song, “As Time Goes By” and Sean sharing a black and white family photo of them on a boat trip.
In October this year, figures from across music and culture marked what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday.
The milestone was celebrated in the Beatles’ hometown of Liverpool, where the council launched a worldwide contest to find another great songwriter.
Earlier this year, Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman, 65, apologised to Ono for his “despicable act”, saying that he thinks about it all the time and accepts he may spend the rest of his life behind bars.