John Lennon, the legendary singer-songwriter and founding member of The Beatles, would have celebrated his 70th birthday on Saturday 6th October 2010. Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building in New York in 1980, and his death has inspired countless tributes over the years.
However, to mark Lennon’s 70th birthday, the former Black Sabbath rocker Ozzy Osbourne is releasing a cover version of the star’s 1971 song ‘How?’, with all proceeds from the single going to Amnesty International, reports the UK’s Guardian newspaper. The track is an extension of the charity’s 2007 anthology ‘Instant Karma’, which featured a number of high-profile artists covering some of Lennon’s biggest hits. U2 recorded a version of the title track, and Aerosmith tried their hand at ‘Give Peace a Chance’. Elsewhere, ‘Mother’ was performed by Christina Aguilera, and Avril Lavigne recorded a cover of the singer’s most successful song, ‘Imagine’.
With permission from Yoko Ono, Osbourne recorded his own unique version of ‘How?’, and filmed an accompanying video, which was shot in New York and features the 61-year-old walking to the Lennon memorial in Central Park, and laying flowers. He recently spoke to the BBC about the moment he heard Lennon had been killed, saying, “I can't even describe how I felt. But the amount of joy and hope that he gave people was just remarkable”.