The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960 and came to the U.S. for the first time this date in 1964. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential act of the rock era. Rooted in 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several musical styles, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways. In the early 60s, their enormous popularity first emerged as “Beatlemania,” but they came to be perceived as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the counterculture of the 60s.
Manager Brian Epstein molded the Beatles into a professional act and producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings, greatly expanding their popularity. They acquired the nickname “the Fab Four” as Beatlemania grew and by early 1964 became international stars, leading the “British Invasion” of the US pop market. From 1965 onward, the Beatles produced increasingly innovative recordings, including Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Abbey Road.
After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers of varying lengths. McCartney and Starr, the surviving members, remain musically active. Lennon was shot and killed in December, 1980 and Harrison died of lung cancer in November, 2001.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, the Beatles are the best-selling music artists in the U.S., with 178 million certified units. They have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine’s list of the all-time most successful “Hot 100” artists; as of 2016, they hold the record for most number one hits with twenty. They have received ten Grammy Awards and an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. Collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the 20th Century’s 100 most influential people, they are the best selling band in history with estimated sales of over 600 million records worldwide. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and all four were inducted individually from 1994 to 2015. Orchestras now perform their music to wide appeal. (from Wikipedia)