It turns out that the 1971 anthem “Imagine,” one of the defining songs in the illustrious songwriting career of John Lennon, had a co-writer. The National Music Publishers Association announced this week that it will “correct the record” by giving a co-writer’s credit to Yoko Ono.
Variety reports that the announcement from NMPA CEO David Israelite came Wednesday at the organization’s annual meeting in New York.
Israelite “showed a video from 1980 wherein John said that Yoko deserved a songwriting credit for ‘Imagine’ because of her influence and inspiration on it — and Israelite announced that in accordance with Lennon’s wish, Yoko will be added to the song as a co-writer,” Variety reports.
Yoko and Sean Ono Lennon also were honored with the organization’s new Centennial Song award for “Imagine.”
Rolling Stone quotes Israelite saying: “It is my distinct honor to correct the record 48 years later and recognize Yoko Ono as a co-writer of the NMPA Centennial Song ‘Imagine’ and to present her with this well-deserved credit.”
John Lennon reportedly blamed his failure to credit Ono at the time on a sexist double standard. He’s quoted saying: “A lot of it — the lyric and the concept — came from Yoko. But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. … If it had been Bowie, I would have put ‘Lennon-Bowie.'”