Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney Honor John Lennon on What Would Have Been His 80th Birthday

Former Beatle John Lennon would have celebrated his 80th birthday today.

Gunned down almost two months after his 40th birthday, Lennon is remembered as a proponent of peace and love, as well as one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century.

Here’s how his wife, Yoko Ono, and his former musical collaborator, Paul McCartney, are remembering Lennon today.

From left: Yoko Ono, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney
From left: Yoko Ono, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney in 1968 | Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Yoko Ono tweeted a message of love to her husband John Lennon and son Sean

Yoko Ono, who is now 87, took to Twitter to honor her husband who has been gone 40 years. Lennon died on Dec. 8, 1980, after being gunned down in New York City.

Their son, Sean, shares the same birthday as his father and turns 45 today.

Ono tweeted, “Happy Birthday John! Happy Birthday Sean! Yes, you are my angels. I love you! yoko”

She included a poignant photo of herself and John walking with a much younger Sean.

The Japanese artist also announced the relighting of the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland in John Lennon’s honor.

“Dear Friends This Oct 9th, IMAGINE PEACE TOWER @IPTower will be relit in Iceland in memory of my late husband @JohnLennon on his 80th birthday. Join us to watch the relighting at http://imaginepeacetower.com as we celebrate around the world! I love you! yoko #IMAGINEPEACE #LENNON80”

Paul McCartney’s heartfelt tweet for his old pal

McCartney, 78, for his part, looked back with affection and fondness on his old friend John Lennon on his birthday.

Posting a tweet that said, “I love this picture, it reminds me of the bond between us. Happy 80th John. Love Paul,” McCartney included a photo of himself with Lennon in which the two friends are sharing a laugh.

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McCartney, speaking with Sean Lennon in an Oct. 2020 BBC interview, recalled his former songwriting partner and how they learned to know what made for a good song.

“There were a few songs that weren’t very good…you know, clearly young songwriters who don’t know how to do it. Eventually,” McCartney said, “we started to write slightly better songs and then enjoyed the process of learning together so much that it really took off.”

Sean Lennon helped turn the Empire State Building blue in honor of his father

Lennon’s younger son, Sean, was present in New York City at the famed Empire State Building to mark his father’s work for peace by flipping the switch that would flood the top of the landmark in the color blue.

The Empire State Building website explained, “The Empire State Building will shine its world-famous tower lights in Sky Blue with a white peace sign rotating in the mast on Thursday, October 8, 2020, to celebrate John Lennon’s life and legacy ahead of what would have been his 80th birthday, Friday, October 9.

“Sean Ono Lennon will be on hand to flip the switch and light up the iconic building in honor of his father.”

It was a beautiful tribute to the Englishman who called New York City his beloved home for so many years.