George Harrison: You were my favorite of the Fab 4 or the Beatles, I admire your spiritual on life and the greatness of the environment, may you have eternal and peace, remembering you 9 years later, may you rest in peace!
(25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English rock guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles.
Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison embraced Indian mysticism, and helped broaden the horizons of the other Beatles, as well as those of their Western audience. Following the band's break-up, he had a successful career as a solo artist and later as part of the Traveling Wilburys, and also as a film and record producer. Harrison is listed at number 21 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Although most of The Beatles' songs were written by Lennon and McCartney, Harrison, also a songwriter, generally contributed 1-2 songs per record from the With The Beatles onwards. His later compositions with The Beatles include "Here Comes the Sun", "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". By the time of the band's break-up, Harrison had accumulated a backlog of material, which he then released as the acclaimed and successful triple album All Things Must Pass in 1970, from which came two singles: a double A-side single, "My Sweet Lord" backed with "Isn't It a Pity", and "What Is Life". In addition to his solo work, Harrison co-wrote two hits for Ringo Starr, another former Beatle, as well as songs for the Traveling Wilburys—the supergroup he formed in 1988 with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison.
Harrison embraced Indian culture and Hinduism in the mid 1960s, and helped expand Western awareness of sitar music and of the Hare Krishna movement. With Ravi Shankar he organised a major charity concert with the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh.
Besides being a musician, he was also a record producer and co-founder of the production company HandMade Films. In his work as a film producer, he collaborated with people as diverse as the members of Monty Python and Madonna. He was married twice, to the model Pattie Boyd in 1966, and to the record company secretary Olivia Trinidad Arias in 1978, with whom he had one son, Dhani Harrison. He was a close friend of Eric Clapton. He is the only Beatle to have published an autobiography, with I Me Mine in 1980. Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001.
Harrison developed throat cancer, which was discovered in 1997 after a lump on his neck was analysed. He attributed it to his smoking in the 1960s. He was successfully treated with radiotherapy. Early in May 2001, it was revealed that he had undergone an operation at the Mayo Clinic to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs. In July of that year, it was reported that Harrison was receiving radiotherapy for a brain tumour at a clinic in Switzerland.
Decline and death
Despite the treatments and operations, Harrison died on 29 November 2001 at a Hollywood Hills mansion that was once leased by McCartney and was previously owned by Courtney Love.
The cause of death was listed on his Los Angeles County death certificate as "metastatic non-small cell lung cancer". He was cremated at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and his ashes were scattered in the Ganges River by his close family in a private ceremony according to Hindu tradition. He left almost £100 million in his will.
In 2002, on the first anniversary of Harrison's death, the Concert for George was held at the Royal Albert Hall; it was organised by Eric Clapton and included performances by many of Harrison's musical friends, including Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. The profits from the concert went to Harrison's charity, the Material World Charitable Foundation.
Harrison's first official honour was when The Beatles were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1965, and received their insignia from the Queen at an investiture at Buckingham Palace on 26 October. Another award with The Beatles came in 1970 when they won an Academy Award for the best Original Song Score for Let It Be.
A significant music award as a solo artist was in December 1992, when he became the first recipient of the Billboard Century Award - presented to music artists for significant bodies of work. The minor planet 4149, discovered on 9 March 1984 by B. A. Skiff at the Anderson Mesa Station of the Lowell Observatory, was named after Harrison. Harrison is listed at number 21 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Harrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist on 15 March 2004 by his Traveling Wilburys friends Lynne and Petty. He was inducted into the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame on 1 August 2006 for the Concert for Bangladesh.
Harrison featured twice on the cover of Time magazine, initially with The Beatles in 1967,then on his own, shortly after his death in 2001.
In June 2007, portraits of Harrison and John Lennon were unveiled at The Mirage Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where they will be on permanent display. In September 2007, Variety announced that Martin Scorsese would make a film about Harrison's life.
On 14 April 2009, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce awarded Harrison a star on the Walk of Fame in front of the Capitol Records Building. (The Beatles also have a group star on the Walk of Fame.) Musicians Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Paul McCartney were among those in attendance when the star was unveiled. Harrison's widow Olivia, actor Tom Hanks and comedian Eric Idle made speeches at the ceremony; Harrison's son Dhani uttered the Hare Krishna mantra.
After the ceremony, Capitol/EMI Records announced that a new career-spanning CD entitled Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison would be released in mid-June 2009.
American film director Martin Scorsese has announced that he is making a George Harrison documentary titled Living in the Material World: George Harrison.