News Pop / Rock 30/11/2001

George Harrison dies



LOS ANGELES (Top 40 Charts) - Former Beatle George Harrison, the singer, songwriter and guitarist for one of the world's most famous pop groups, has died after losing his battle against cancer.

Harrison died on Thursday at a friend's Los Angeles home, at 1330 local time, according to his longtime friend Gavin De Becker.

"He died with one thought in mind - love one another," De Becker said.

George Harrison
Harrison was the youngest Beatle
De Becker said Harrison's wife Olivia and son Dhani, 24, were both with him when he died.

Harrison's family issued a statement saying: "He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends.

"He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another'."

Sir Paul McCartney said: "I am devastated and very very sad.

"We knew he'd been ill for a long time. He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humour."

Speaking outside his home in St John's Wood, north-west London, McCartney added: "I remember all the beautiful times we had together and I'd like to remember him like that, because I know he would like to be remembered like that.

"He'll be sorely missed by everyone."

'Wisdom'

John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono said: "My deep love and concern goes to Olivia and Dhani."

"The three of them were the closest, most loving family you can imagine.

"George has given so much to us in his lifetime and continues to do so even after his passing, with his music, his wit and his wisdom.

"Thank you George, it was grand knowing you."

Prime Minister Tony Blair said, though he had never met Harrison: "People of my generation grew up with the Beatles, and they were the background to our lives.

"He wasn't just a great musician, an artist, but did a lot of work for charity as well.

"He'll be greatly missed around the world."

Harrison, who was 58, announced in July he had received treatment in Switzerland for a tumour. He also had surgery for lung cancer in May.

Harrison's life was also threatened when he was stabbed by an intruder at his home in Oxfordshire in 1999.

George and <a style=Olivia Harrison" border=0 width="150" height="180" src="http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1490000/images/_1492446_harrison_wife150.jpg" >
Harrison married his second wife Olivia in 1978
The former Beatle, who met his fellow band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr where they grew up in Liverpool, was just 27 when the band split in 1970.

They managed to conquer the world musically, achieving 27 number one records in the UK and the US during their career.

Their most recent album, compiling all their number one hits, called 1, topped both the UK and the US charts during 2000.

Films

Harrison's post-Beatles career had several successes. He went on to produce a critically acclaimed solo album All Things Must Pass.

The Beatles
The Beatles: Achieved worldwide fame
His role as a film producer took off when he worked on Monty Python's Life of Brian in 1979.

He was also responsible for The Long Good Friday, Time Bandits and Mona Lisa.

In the 1980s Harrison teamed with former ELO front-man Jeff Lynne on Cloud Nine and then joined with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison as The Travelling Wilburys.

A book of condolence has been opened for Harrison at Liverpool Town Hall.

George HarrisonThe city council has announced that there will be a memorial service for the former Beatle, but no date has been set.






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