Yoko Ono (Japanese-American musician and artist)
Yoko Ono (小野 洋子, Ono Yōko) born February 18, 1933, is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, and peace activist. She is the widow and second wife of The Beatles' John Lennon and is also known for her work in avant-garde art, music, and filmmaking.
Ono grew up in Tokyo, and studied at Gakushuin University while her family moved to the US to escape the war. They reunited in 1953, and after some time at Sarah Lawrence College, she became involved in New York City's downtown artists scene, including the Fluxus group. She first met Lennon in 1966 at her own art exhibition in London, and they became a couple in 1968. She was repeatedly criticized for her influence over Lennon and his music, and blamed for the breakup of the Beatles as their relationship coincided with the band's final years. She and Lennon famously used their honeymoon as a stage for public protests against the Vietnam War in their Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal in spring 1969. In addition to co-writing "Give Peace a Chance," she co-wrote with Lennon the experimental piece, "Revolution 9" on The White Album. Her experimental art was not popular, and, after Lennon's death, her disagreements with Paul McCartney received as much attention as her billboards and music releases, which were perceived as self-promotion. Nevertheless, she achieved commercial success as part of the Plastic Ono Band — Live Peace in Toronto 1969 and 1972's Some Time in New York City reached No. 10 and No. 48 on the album charts respectively. Double Fantasy from 1980, released three weeks before Lennon's death, reached No. 1. Since 2003, eleven of her songs, mostly remixes of her older work, have hit No. 1 on the US dance chart.
Public appreciation of Ono's work shifted over time, helped by, among other things, a retrospective at a Whitney Museum branch in 1989 and a 1992 interview in L.A.-based music magazine, Option, which coincided with the release of the six-disc box set Onobox. Retrospectives of her artwork have also been presented at the Japan Society in New York City in 2001, in Bielefeld, Germany, and the UK in 2008, and Frankfurt, Krems, Austria, and Bilbao, Spain in 2013. She received a Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement from the Venice Biennale in 2009 and the 2012 Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Austria's highest award for applied contemporary art.
As Lennon's widow, Ono works to preserve his legacy, funding and maintaining Strawberry Fields in New York City, the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland. She also funded and maintained the John Lennon Museum in Saitama, Japan, until it was closed on September 30, 2010. Individually and under her and Lennon's name, she has made significant philanthropic contributions to the arts, peace, Philippine and Japan disaster relief, and other causes. She brought feminism to the forefront in her music influencing artists as diverse as the B-52s and Meredith Monk. Ono has remained on the forefront in activism, inaugurating a biennial $50,000 LennonOno Grant for Peace in 2002 and co-founding the group Artists Against Fracking in 2012. She has a daughter, Kyoko Chan Cox, from her marriage to Anthony Cox and a son, Sean Lennon, from her marriage to Lennon, with whom she collaborates musically.Continue reading at Wikipedia... Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license