Legendary music producer and the so-called ‘Fifth Beatle’ George Martin has died at the age of 90.
Sir George Henry Martin CBE was known for boldly signing the Beatles in 1962 – when Parlophone Records were focussed on jazz and comedy – and went on to produce and arrange nearly all their songs.
Drummer Ringo Starr took to Twitter to confirm the news Tuesday, telling fans: “God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara George will be missed xxx”
Starr had yet to join the band when Martin signed them, at a time when every other major U.K. label had passed on the chance.
With a career spanning more than six decades, Martin will be remembered as one of the greatest record producers of his time, with 23 number-one hits in the U.S. and 30 number-one hit singles in the U.K.
Martin has been credited as an all-round mentor to the “Fab Four,” putting on lavish arrangements to some of their most memorable songs including “Yesterday.”
Last year, a vintage interview surfaced of Sir Paul McCartney talking about the band’s special relationship with Martin, saying “He’s a very good producer. He’s one of the best in the world.”
The producer received an Academy Award nomination for best music, scoring of music, adaptation or treatment for his work on the Beatles 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night and in 2008 won a Grammy Award for best compilation soundtrack album for motion picture, television or other visual media for the Beatles Love album.
Tributes began flooding in for Martin following the news, including a Facebook post from John Lennon’s son Sean, who wrote: “R.I.P. George Martin. I’m so gutted I don’t have many words. Thinking of Judy and Giles and family. Love Always, Sean.”