Legendary record producer and “fifth Beatle” George Martin passed away at his home on Tuesday night. He was 90.
Born in London in 1926, Martin later joined the Royal Navy before channeling his love of music into a career, thanks to a veteran’s grant that allowed him to attend music school. He first worked at Parlophone Records, a subsidiary of EMI, but would later start his own production company.
Martin produced hundreds of songs, but will always be best known as the man who gave the Beatles their first recording contract. He was introduced to the Beatles in 1962, and would go on to work with them until they broke up in ’70. His production is found on all of the Beatles’ records, and is often cited as a major influence on their groundbreaking output. In addition to the Beatles (and some of the Beatles’ subsequent solo albums), Martin produced for Jeff Beck, Kate Bush, Elton John, Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers, Carl Perkins, America, and plenty more.
Martin was knighted in 1996, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, and won multiple Grammys and an Academy Award (for scoring A Hard Day’s Night) over the course of his career.
Ringo Starr broke the news of Martin’s death on Twitter:
In a note on his website, Paul McCartney called Martin “the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.”