Yoko Ono Is Getting a Co-Writer Credit for 'Imagine' Nearly 50 Years After It Came Out

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Last night, the National Music Publishers Association held its annual meeting, where it honored John Lennon’s “Imagine” with its new Centennial Song award. Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon accepted the award on behalf of Lennon, but the NMPA wasn’t done there.


After playing an excerpt from a 1980 video in which John Lennon stated that Ono deserved credit for “Imagine” because “a lot of it — the lyric and the concept — came from Yoko,” the NMPA announced that Yoko would be added to the song’s credits as co-writer.


After Ono and Lennon received the award, Patti Smith performed the song with her daughter Jesse accompanying her on piano. While the process of adding Ono to the song credits hasn’t been finalized, it’s nice to see the NMPA correct a wrong rooted in Lennon basically not wanting to acknowledge his wife’s work.

After all, as Lennon himself 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.’”

Congrats Yoko Ono!

Isha is a staff reporter who covers pop culture, representation in media, and your new faves.

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