January 21, 2002 8:46am EST
Ex-Beatle George Harrison has scored a number one hit on the British pop charts with the single "My Sweet Lord"--31 years after it was first released. Harrison died on November 29 at the age of 58, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The single was originally released shortly after the Beatles split, and was the first solo number one for any of the Fab Four members.
Harrison's widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, on the heels of strong public demand agreed to EMI's re-release the song, provided the proceeds went to a fund administered by the Material World Charitable Foundation, The Associated Press reports. Harrison established the MWCF in 1973.
"We are very happy that the reissue of "My Sweet Lord" continues to spread George Harrison's music around the world," EMI told the AP.
"It's especially appropriate that the Material World Charitable Foundation, a charity that George set up some time ago, will benefit from the profits made from the success of the single, thus helping the needy all over the world."
The charity single knocked Aaliyah's "More Than A Woman" off the top of the British charts. The R&B singer, who died in a plane crash in the Bahamas last August, had previously occupied the number one spot.
It might be the first time in chart history that two deceased artists have had consecutive number one hits.
According to the New York Post, the majority of George Harrison's estate--which is estimated to be worth just under $300 million--will be left to his wife, Olivia, and 24-year-old son, Dhani.
The remaining portions of the estate, possibly higher than 10 percent, will be divided between the Hare Krishna religion--Harrison's faith since the '60s--and various charitable organizations, including a relief fund for African children.
In related news, the location of Harrison's choice of resting place--where his ashes are to be spread--was revealed on Monday: India's holy Ganges River. Authorities for the Hare Krishna religion released the news to the media, stating that Harrison's ashes will be sprinkled in the river in the cities of Allahabad and Varnasi on Tuesday at 3 a.m.
The 58-year-old former Beatle died of cancer in Los Angeles on Thursday.
December 02, 2001 10:33am EST
In the months before his death, former Beatle George Harrison was finishing a last album in secrecy. According to Britain's Sunday Times, Harrison played the album for his friends and family in a private room at a Los Angeles hospital on Sunday, four days before he died of cancer at the age of 58.
Harrison was completing 25 previously unreleased tracks in a studio at his Friar Park mansion in Oxfordshire, England. His wife Olivia and son Dhani said they would release the album as a tribute to Harrison's courage.
Portrait of a Leg End, the album's working title, contains new songs as well as some that date to the 1980s. Unlike his last song, "Horse to Water," recorded with Dhani, the tracks do not allude to his illness but are instead an effort by the former Beatle to put his musical legacy in order.
Jim Keltner, a California-based musician who played the drums on some of the tracks, told reporters the album is very close to completion.
"There is a certain soulfulness about George's music that doesn't need a lot once he has put that voice on. There will be people who argue that it is underproduced and maybe there should be more on it. Knowing George, I have a feeling he would rather it be as simple and as direct as possible," he said.
Portrait of a Leg End could repeat the success of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy album, which sold millions of copies after Lennon's murder in New York in 1980.
It has also been reported that British politicians are calling for Harrison to be granted posthumous knighthood, which would require a change in Britain's honor system under which only military personnel can be given the "Sir" title after their death.
Harrison was cremated in Los Angeles on Thursday. His ashes are expected to be spread on the Ganges or another holy river in India.
After a long battle with cancer, George Harrison, known to fans as the "Quiet Beatle," passed away at a friend's home. Harrison was 58.
Harrison died at 1:30 p.m. PT on Thursday in Los Angeles, following a battle with a brain tumor that ultimately caused his demise. His wife, Olivia, and 24-year-old son, Dhani, were with Harrison at the time of his death.
"He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends,'' the Harrison family said in a statement to reporters. "He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.'"
Former Beatles frontman Paul McCartney greeted reporters outside his London home on Friday and expressed his sentiments on the loss of his longtime friend to The Associated Press.
"I am devastated and very, very sad. He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really just my baby brother," McCartney said.
"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," John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, told AP on Friday.
Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth was "very sad to hear the death of George Harrison," AP reports.
Great Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, also expressed his sentiments to BBC News on Thursday. "He wasn't just a musician, an artist, but did a lot of work for charity as well. He'll be greatly missed around the world."
"George Harrison was once of the great Liverpudlians," Liverpool's Lord Mayor Gerry Scott told Reuters. "He was a warm, peace-loving man who much more than just a talented musician."
Alan Williams, the Beatles' first manager, told AP that Harrison was an essential part of the band's chemistry.
"I would say he was the major cog in the Beatles at that time. He kept them together probably because of the calming effect he had," Williams said.
Harrison was 13 years old when he bought his first guitar and befriended Paul McCartney at school. McCartney introduced him to John Lennon, who was in a band called the Quarrymen. After several lineup changes and a name change, McCartney, Lennon and Harrison brought drummer Ringo Starr aboard and the Beatles were born.
After the Beatles parted ways in 1970, Harrison embarked on a solo career that started with his 1971 album, All Things Must Pass, and its hit singles "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life."
During the same year, he organized the Concert for Bangladesh, one of the first rock 'n' roll benefits, and helped fellow musician Sir Bob Geldof put together Live Aid, a benefit for African famine in 1985, AP reports.
"It really is the end of a dream," John Chambers of the Liverpool Beatles Appreciation Society told AP. "The only comfort we can take is the legacy of the music, which is as powerful and mysterious today as it ever was."
Fans across the globe are mourning Harrison's death.
At Harrison's mansion outside of London, fans have left flowers and notes for the guitarist. Flags were flying at half mast and a book of condolence has been opened at Liverpool Town Hall, birthplace of The Beatles, BBC News reports
In addition, the city council has announced that there will be a memorial service for Harrison, but no date has been set.
Harrison was also awarded the freedom of the city in 1984, Reuters reports.
Last year, Harrison saw a compilation of Beatles No.1 singles, 1, sell millions of copies.
"The thing that pleases me the most about it is that young people like it," Harrison said in an interview with AP at the time. "I think the popular music has gone truly weird. It's either cutesy-wutesy or it's hard, nasty stuff. It's good that this has life again with the youth."
On Oct. 1, Harrison recorded the song "A Horse To Water" with his son Dhani and pianist Jools Holland at his Switzerland home. The tune is featured on Holland's album Small World, Big Friends, released on Nov. 19 in the UK.
In New York City, fans began gathering before dawn Friday at Strawberry Fields, a section of the city's Central Park created in memory of another fallen Beatle, John Lennon, who was killed outside his nearby apartment in 1980.
Harrison spent last week at New York's Staten Island University Hospital where he was treated for his cancer. After his release on Nov. 22, Harrison took a private jet to Los Angeles, where he was treated with conventional chemotherapy at the UCLA Medical Centre, ABCNEWS.com reports.
McCartney and Starr had visited Harrison at Staten Island University Hospital just last week.
"When I saw him last time, he was obviously very unwell but he was cracking jokes like he always has...he'll be sorely missed," McCartney told AP.
The singer waged a long battle with cancer during the last few years.
In May, Harrison underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs. In April, a malignant growth was taken from one of his lungs.
Harrison was treated for throat cancer after doctors found a lump on his neck in 1997.
"It reminds you that anything can happen," he said at the time. Harrison blamed years of smoking cigarettes for his illness.
Harrison received courses of radiation therapy at Britain's leading cancer treatment center, the Royal Marsden Hospital, at that time.
Harrison is survived by his wife and son, his brother, Peter, and his sister, Lou.
George Harrison has once again been a victim of a tabloid rumor after London's Sunday People reported he may only have a week to live.
Harrison is said to be "fading fast" after his recent cancer treatment failed to beat his brain tumor, the paper reported. In addition, the paper says his wife Olivia and son Dhani have been told that the singer could "slip away at any time."
A "family friend" told Sunday People that "it's only a matter of days" until the singer departs this world. "Everything possible has been done to try and save him...yet he is fading fast."
The former Beatle spent last week at New York's Staten Island University Hospital where he was treated for his cancer. After his release on Nov. 22, he took a private jet to Los Angeles, where he was treated with conventional chemotherapy at the UCLA Medical Centre, ABCNEWS.com reports.
Sunday People reports that a UCLA spokesman told the paper on Friday, "He is very weak and the prognosis is dire...but there is still real determination to try to save his life."
According to ABCNews.com, longtime friends Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reportedly visited Harrison at Staten Island University Hospital last week.
"It was a very sad meeting," a source told Sunday People. "George's death will be a major blow to both of them."
Beatles' fans shouldn't lose hope for Harrison's health anytime soon, though. Sunday People quoted a friend of Harrison's who says, "George is fighting to the end."
The singer has waged a long battle with cancer during the last months.
In May, he underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs, CNN reports.
He was treated for throat cancer after doctors found a lump on his neck in 1997. He received courses of radiation therapy at Britain's leading cancer treatment center, the Royal Marsden Hospital.
Harrison was almost killed in late 1999 when a crazed fan broke into his home near London, stabbing him 10 times and puncturing one of his lungs.
He has blamed years of cigarette smoking for his illness.
Former Beatle George Harrison is reportedly back in the hospital to undergo further throat and lung cancer treatment.
According to London's The Daily Telegraph, Harrison is staying at the Staten Island University Hospital under the name of George Arrias--his wife's maiden name--and is under the supervision of Dr. Gil Lenderman, known for his treatment of patients with advanced cancer.
A source told the publication that Harrison was "very frail and gaunt."
If the report is true, this is not Harrison's first battle with cancer.
In May, he underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs. Harrison was also treated for a brain tumor at a Swiss cancer clinic.
Furthermore, Harrison received treatment for throat cancer after finding a lump on his neck in 1997, undergoing radiation therapy at Britain's leading cancer treatment center, the Royal Marsden Hospital.
Harrison has blamed years of cigarette smoking for his illness.
Former Beatles producer George Martin told London's Daily Mail newspaper last May that "[Harrison] has an indomitable spirit but he knows he is going to die soon and he is willing to accept that."
The singer replied with a statement of his own, saying that he was disappointed and disgusted by the report, which he called unsubstantiated, untrue and totally uncalled for. Harrison also stated that he was active and feeling very well.
On Oct. 1, Harrison recorded the song "A Horse To Water" with his son Dhani and pianist Jools Holland at his Switzerland home. The tune will appear on Holland's album Small World, Big Friends on Nov. 19 in the UK, BBC News reported.
Pop singer Britney Spears has been caught once again with the wrong brand of drink on her hands. Spears, who signed a $97.5 million deal with Pepsi earlier this year, was reportedly seen drinking Coca-Cola during her stay in Sydney, Australia and was seen drinking Sunkist when she was leaving a recording studio on Wednesday. But Pepsi has not lost their faith on their young spokeswoman, as they continue to play her tune on television commercials and on the telephone. "You know, after all that's happening in the world right now, this is not a big event," Larry Jabbonsky, director of public relations for Pepsi Cola Co. told Hollywood.com on Thursday. "You can move on from there."
Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Jay Livingston, whose collaboration with Ray Evans led to hits such as "Silver Bells," "Que Sera, Sera" and "Mona Lisa," died of pneumonia Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 86.
Rapper Snoop Dogg was charged with marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession in Amherst, Ohio, on Wednesday after officers stopped two of his tour buses for speeding. Drug-sniffing dogs found six bags marijuana weighing about 200 grams in the cargo hold of the bus, The Associated Press reported. Charges for possession of marijuana could lead to a maximum $100 penalty. Drug paraphernalia possession could lead to a maximum sentence of $250 and 30 days in jail.
The Rosie O'Donnell Show returns live on Monday, Oct. 22 after taking this week off due to the anthrax scare at NBC, PageSix.com reported. O'Donnell shut down production last Friday after Tom Brokaw's assistant tested positive for anthrax.
Actor Robert De Niro has dropped plans to produce and play a phobic therapist in Scared Guys for director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest). Instead, he'll reprise his role as a mobster being treated by a shrink (Billy Crystal) in Analyze That, the sequel to the hit 1999 comedy Analyze This. According to Reuters, De Niro will reportedly earn near $20 million for the role. Film production begins in February.
Divorce lawyers for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are in Los Angeles this week hashing out money issues. According to New York's Daily News reports, Kidman's team is bracing for a court fight, arguing that she's within her rights to raise their children as Catholics rather than Scientologists.
Former Beatle George Harrison, 58, has recorded his first single since being treated for cancer earlier this year, Reuters reported. Harrison co-wrote the song, called "A Horse to Water," in his house with his son Dhani and recorded it with British musician Jools Holland. The song will appear on Holland's album Small World, Big Friends, to be released in Britain on Nov. 11. On the record, Holland duets with other artists as well, including Dire Straits' guitarist Mark Knopfler, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton.
The Grammy Awards, the top honors in the music industry, will take place on Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, event organizers said on Wednesday. According to Reuters, the organization is also planning to announce, within the next few weeks, the winners of the second annual Latin Grammy Awards, which were canceled following the Sept. 11 attacks.
'N Sync's Chris Kirkpatrick will be the first member of the boy band to turn the big 3-0 on Thursday. Being involved in a group at such age would never have been acceptable in former boy bands such as Menudo, but for the Tampa-based group, age is no limit. "We try to convey to everybody that we're just learning just like everyone else," Kirkpatrick told ABCNews.com. "We're on this planet to be here, y'know, as humans."