Yoko Ono (Japanese-American musician and artist)

~ Person


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 was 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 the legacy of him, 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 Taro Ono Lennon, from her marriage to Lennon, with whom she collaborates musically.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1968 Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins Yoko Ono / John Lennon 3
1969 Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With the Lions John Lennon / Yoko Ono 3
1969 Unfinished Music No. 3: Wedding Album John & Yoko 2 3
1970 Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band 2
1971 Fly Yoko Ono 2
1972 Some Time in New York City John Lennon & Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band 3 10
1973 Approximately Infinite Universe Yoko Ono 2
1973 Feeling the Space Yoko Ono 2
1980 Double Fantasy John Lennon & Yoko Ono 4 14
1981 Season of Glass Yoko Ono 2
1982 It's Alright (I See Rainbows) Yoko Ono 2
1983 Milk and Honey John Lennon & Yoko Ono 7
1985 Starpeace Yoko Ono 2
1994 New York Rock Yoko Ono 2
1995 Rising Yoko Ono/IMA 1
1997 A Story Yoko Ono 1
2001 Blueprint for a Sunrise Yoko Ono 1
2009 Between My Head and the Sky Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band 1
2010 Double Fantasy Stripped Down John Lennon & Yoko Ono 5 2
2012 YOKOKIMTHURSTON Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon & Thurston Moore 1
2013 Take Me to the Land of Hell Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 Walking on Thin Ice Yoko Ono 1
1992 Onobox Yoko Ono 1

Album + Remix

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2007 Yes, I'm a Witch Yoko Ono 3
2007 Open Your Box Yoko Ono 1
2009 Give Peace a Chance Yoko Ono 1
2013 Hold Me Yoko Ono feat. Dave Audé 2

Album + Spokenword

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1983 Heart Play: Unfinished Dialogue John Lennon & Yoko Ono 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1971 Happy Xmas (War Is Over) John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir 3
1980 (Just Like) Starting Over / Kiss Kiss Kiss John Lennon & Yoko Ono 2
1981 Walking on Thin Ice Yoko Ono 4
2001 Open Your Box Yoko Ono 1
2003 Walking on Thin Ice (Pet Shop Boys Remixes) Yoko Ono 2
2004 Everyman... Everywoman... Yoko Ono 1
2011 Move on Fast Yoko Ono 2
2013 tUnE-yArDs as YOKO Yoko Ono & tUnE-yArDs 2
2014 Angel (Remixes) Ono 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1996 Rising Mixes Yoko Ono/IMA 1
2011 The Flaming Lips with Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band The Flaming Lips with Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band 1

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