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|Also Known As:||Richard Starkey||Died:|
|Born:||July 7, 1940||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Liverpool, England, GB||Profession:||musician, director, actor, apprentice engineer, messenger boy|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
w albums including Y Not (2010) and Ringo 2012. In January 2014, the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' American breakthrough, Starr and McCartney reunited for a live performance at the Grammy Awards. In December 2014, Ringo Starr was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and given the organization's Award for Musical Excellence. kly radio program called "Ringo's Yellow Submarine." He also began working with former Eagle Joe Walsh on a new album, Old Wave, which was released in Europe and South America only in 1983 (it would not see a US release until 1994). He also made a few inroads into acting again - he and Barbara took small parts in the campy U.S. miniseries "Princess Daisy" (1983) and appeared as himself in McCartney's flop musical "Give My Regards to Broad Street" (1984). But his greatest on-screen success came in the unlikely form of the "Thomas The Tank Engine" (ITV, 1984- ), the massively popular U.K. animated children's series based on a series of popular children's books. Although initially reluctant to participate, his presence lent the show a great deal of credence with parents in its early years, and in turn, gave his own career a shot in the arm. Starr provided the narration for...
w albums including Y Not (2010) and Ringo 2012. In January 2014, the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' American breakthrough, Starr and McCartney reunited for a live performance at the Grammy Awards. In December 2014, Ringo Starr was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and given the organization's Award for Musical Excellence.kly radio program called "Ringo's Yellow Submarine." He also began working with former Eagle Joe Walsh on a new album, Old Wave, which was released in Europe and South America only in 1983 (it would not see a US release until 1994). He also made a few inroads into acting again - he and Barbara took small parts in the campy U.S. miniseries "Princess Daisy" (1983) and appeared as himself in McCartney's flop musical "Give My Regards to Broad Street" (1984). But his greatest on-screen success came in the unlikely form of the "Thomas The Tank Engine" (ITV, 1984- ), the massively popular U.K. animated children's series based on a series of popular children's books. Although initially reluctant to participate, his presence lent the show a great deal of credence with parents in its early years, and in turn, gave his own career a shot in the arm. Starr provided the narration for "Thomas" in England from 1984 to 1991 (his narration was re-recorded for the American broadcasts) and later appeared as the diminutive "Mr. Conductor," the six-inch host of the U.S. spin-off series, "Shining Time Station" (PBS, 1989-1993) from 1989 to 1990.
Starr's success on children's television seemed to signal a revived interest in performing. He performed with Eric Clapton and George Harrison in the UK comedy "Water" (1985), which was produced by Harrison's HandMade Pictures company, and endured an uncomfortable-looking costume as the Mock Turtle in an all-star TV production of "Alice in Wonderland" (1985). Starr also returned to drumming in several significant projects, including the "Sun City" benefit album (on which he played alongside his son Zak); a turn backing rockabilly legend Carl Perkins (alongside Harrison, Clapton, Dave Edmunds and Roseanne Cash) in the 1985 HBO special "Carl Perkins and Friends: Blue Suede Shoes - A Rockabilly Session;" and a live appearance with Harrison at the annual Prince's Trust Concert in London. Harrison also tapped Starr to perform on his hugely popular comeback album, Cloud Nine (1987) for the song "When We Was Fab," which paid gentle tribute to their history as the Fab Four. Starr also became a grandfather in 1985 when Zak Starkey and his wife gave birth to a daughter, Tatia Jane.
In 1988, Starr joined Harrison and Yoko Ono onstage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Awards for the induction of the Beatles. Perhaps sensing that his comeback was indeed on the horizon, and that in order to maintain the current wave of popularity, he would need to gain control of his alcohol addiction, Starr and Bach entered a treatment program in Tucson, AZ, in October of that year. He emerged from their ordeal with his charm and zeal for life and performing intact, launching into the business of being Ringo Starr with full force. He joined Harrison on the Tom Petty single (and video) "I Won't Back Down," and contributed a lovely version of "When You Wish Upon a Star" to Hal Willner's Stay Awake album, which featured a collection of Disney songs covered by contemporary artists.
Starr also wowed fans and critics alike by launching his first solo tour ever in 1989. The Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band concert would be slightly different than most live performances; Starr would share the spotlight on stage with a band of fellow rock veterans, who would perform their own greatest hits and then back Starr on his Beatles tracks and solo material. The first tour, which featured Rick Danko and Levon Helm of The Band, Beatles sideman and soul legend Billy Preston, J Walsh, E Street Band alum Nils Lofgren, and New Orleans pianist extraordinaire Dr. John, was an unqualified success - as was the 1989 live album that chronicled the shows. Its success sent Starr back on the road to capacity crowds every few years; even spurring him to attempt a new solo album. The result was Time Takes Time (1992), which earned him excellent reviews, though sales were spotty at best.
In 1994, Starr reunited with McCartney and Harrison for two "new" Beatles songs. "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" were John Lennon demos that Yoko Ono had contributed to the group; the trio remixed the song and added their own voices and instruments to the new version. Both songs appeared as part of the massive "Beatles Anthology" project, which eventually yielded a book, a five-part documentary that aired on ABC in America in 1995, and three CDs of unreleased and live Beatles material. For their efforts, the surviving Beatles were awarded with a Grammy for "Free As a Bird" and two Top 10 singles. The excitement over the project was somewhat diminished by the deaths of three important people in Starr's life in 1994 - his stepfather, good friend Harry Nilsson, and his ex-wife, Maureen.
Starr continued with his successful All-Starr tours throughout the nineties, releasing two more critically acclaimed solo albums - 1998's Vertical Man, which found Starr partnering with a celebrity-filled line-up of singers ranging from Brian Wilson to Ozzy Osbourne, and 1998's VH1 Storytellers, for which Starr performed many of his Beatles and solo hits for an appreciative live audience on the music video network. Neither charted very highly, but by this point, a new Starr solo CD was more of a gift to fans than an actual attempt at promoting his solo career. His beloved status was firmly cemented with fans both young and old, which supported him regardless of radio airplay or chart hits.
In 2001, Starr appeared on several news programs and talk shows to mourn the loss of George Harrison, who had died of cancer in November of that year. He and Harrison had been extremely tight - as they had had only each other to lean on in the shadow of the great Lennon/McCartney friendship and musical collaboration. Starr went on to join many of his friends in paying tribute to Harrison at the 2002 "Concert for George" at London's Royal Albert Hall. Starr performed "Photograph" and the Carl Perkins cover "Honey Don't," and backed McCartney and Eric Clapton on several of Harrison's greatest hits.
Starr returned to recording in 2003 with a new label (Koch) and a new album, Ringo Rama, which like his previous recent efforts, was a star-studded affair. In 2005, he received word that the Liverpool City Council intended to demolish his childhood home; a last minute reprieve guaranteed that the structure would be dismantled and then rebuilt later in an alternate location. That same year, Starr announced that he was partnering with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee on an animated series that would feature Starr as a superhero.
In 2006, a reporter at The London Times mounted a serious campaign to have Starr knighted. In typical good humor and fashion, Starr said that he was not interested in the honor (having openly voiced his disdain for the Royal Family), but would definitely accept being named a duke or prince ("If they come through with that, I'll seriously consider it"). That same year, Starr joined McCartney; Ono; Harrison's wife Olivia and son Dhani; and Lennon's son Julian and ex-wife Cynthia at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas to promote the opening of the Cirque du Soleil show "Love," which featured producer George Martin's remixed and re-imagined versions of Beatles songs (including Starr's "Octopus's Garden") as the soundtrack for the theatrical group's retelling of the Beatles history. Starr, McCartney, Ono and Harrison reunited a year later to promote the show's first anniversary.
As the eldest Beatle entered his 70s in 2010, his touring output slowed, although he continued releasing ne
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"Before we were a big deal--before we were 'The Beatles'--we were a cool little band." --Ringo Starr quoted in NEWSWEEK, October 23, 1995
He won an additional five Grammy Awards and an Oscar shared with The Beatles.
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