The National Music Publishers Association has announced the addition of a co-writer for John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Yesterday, on Wednesday, NMPA CEO and President David Israelite recognized Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, as a co-writer for “Imagine.”
In his speech, Israelite said, “While things may have been different in 1971, today I am glad to say things have changed. So tonight, it is my distinct honor to correct the record some 48 years later, and recognize Yoko Ono as a co-writer of the NMPA Centennial Song ‘Imagine’ and to present Yoko Ono with this well-deserved credit.”
Ono attended the event mainly to receive the Centennial Award for the song.
Getting the recognition as a co-writer for Imagine definitely caught the 84-year-old widow by surprise.
A vintage BBC interview of Lennon was also played at the event. During the interview, Lennon recognized his wife’s contribution to the song.
“Actually, that should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it — the lyric and the concept — came from Yoko,” he said.
“But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of ‘Grapefruit,’ her book. There’s a whole pile of pieces about ‘Imagine this’ and ‘Imagine that.’”
Sean Lennon, the son of Lennon and Ono, also announced on Facebook his mom’s achievement.
Proudest day of my life: The National Music Publishers Association just gave the centennial (song of the century) award to Imagine, but WAIT! Surprise! They played an audio interview of my father saying (approximately) ‘Imagine should’ve been credited as a Lennon/Ono song, if it had been anyone other than my wife I would’ve given them credit.’ Cut to: my mother welling up in tears, and then Patti and Jesse Smith @michiganmanhattan Imagine! Patience is a virtue! ✌️❤✌️❤✌️❤✌️ (PS they officially declared Imagine to be a Lennon/Ono song and gave my mother a second award! 🙏)
Pharrell Williams was also recognized during the event and received the Centennial Songwriter Icon Award.