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The Beatles

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The Beatles Stockholm, Sweden, 1963
  • The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960.
  • With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s.
  • They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and they experimented with a number of musical styles in later years, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock.
  • Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960, initially with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass.
  • The Beatles were international stars by early 1964, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market and breaking numerous sales records.
  • The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with estimated sales of over 800 million albums worldwide. They are the best-selling music artists in the US, with certified sales of over 178 million units, and have had more number-one albums on the British charts, and have sold more singles in the UK, than any other act.
  • After the group's break-up in 1970, all four members enjoyed success as solo artists. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. McCartney and Starr remain musically active.
  • The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and all four main members were inducted individually between 1994 and 2015.