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'Fifth Beatle' Sir George Martin dies aged 90

Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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Record producer George Martin, who was known as the 'fifth Beatle', has passed away at the age of 90. Drummer Ringo Starr announced the news on Twitter, writing: "God bless George Martin, peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara, George will be missed."Sir George had a prestigious career that spanned five decades. In that time, he produced more than 700 records, and worked with artists including Gerry and the Pacemakers, Celine Dion and Shirley Bassey.

george martin © Photo: Getty Images

Legendary producer Sir George Martin has passed away at the age of 90

He also famously gave the Beatles their first recording contract and produced virtually all their music. As the head of Parlophone record label, Sir George heard the band’s demo tape in 1962 and signed them up – at that point, the Beatles, which then consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best, had been turned down by every record company.His enormous contribution to the music industry earned Sir George two Ivor Novello awards, six Grammys, an Oscar nominee, and a Brit Award. He was knighted in 1996 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

george beatles © Photo: Getty Images

He famously gave the Beatles their first recording contract

Tributes for Sir George have been flooding in following the news of his passing. "Sir George Martin was a giant of music – working with the Fab Four to create the world's most enduring pop music," tweeted Prime Minister David Cameron.Singer Lenny Kravitz wrote: "The legends are really going home! Visionary producer of The Beatles, George Martin (1926-2016)."Josh Groban said: "Every time I record at Abbey Road I geek out and play with the mics sir George Martin used. What an ear, what a life, what a legacy."Oasis star Liam Gallagher simply wrote: "Sir George Martin RIP LG x."Speaking back in 1971, the late John Lennon said of the legendary producer: "George Martin made us what we were in the studio. He helped us develop a language to talk to other musicians."

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