Yoko Ono has been given a co-writing credit for husband John Lennon’s 1971 hit “Imagine,” the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) announced.
The Japanese artist, 84, appeared in the video for the song with former Beatle Lennon, who died in 1980, but her involvement in the lyrics and concept of the famous tune was not widely known.
The United States-based NMPA made the surprise announcement late Wednesday while Ono and son Sean Ono Lennon were at a ceremony in New York to pick up a “Song of the Century” award for Imagine.
“When they officially acknowledged – through my father’s account – that my mother co-wrote Imagine, the song of the century, it may have been the happiest day of mine and mother’s life,” her son was quoted as saying by Billboard magazine.
A link to the article was retweeted by the NAPM, who made the co-author decision based on an undated audio clip of John Lennon acknowledging her role in the writing of the song and his guilt in not including her in the credits.
Lennon is widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time and his band the Beatles are the most commercially successful in popular music history.