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Ringo Starr, born Richard Starkey, was the drummer in the Beatles from 1962 to 1970 and thus one of the most famous musicians of the '60s. Though often perceived as the quietest Beatle, he distinguished himself as an occasional singer of good-natured material and as an actor.
Ringo contributed many interesting quotes to the Beatles repertoire, some of which became song titles. "Eight Day's A Week" was written after one of Ringo's expressions and The Beatles' first movie, originally called Beatlemania, was instead called A Hard Day's Night after something Ringo said one evening after a particularly grueling session. Not only did his inventive drumming help provide The Beatles distinctive sound, but he fulfilled other very real needs. He was known as the most down-to-earth member of the Fab Four and consequently became the mediator within the band.
It is common knowledge that the Beatles went on to become the world's most popular band, but it wasn't until that chapter of Ringo's life was ending that his transcendence to the beloved artist he is today, was just beginning. In 1970, Ringo released his first solo record, entitled Sentimental Journey, which was exactly that - a sentimental record capturing the music he grew up with. The following year Ringo released Beaucoups of Blues, a country and western album that he recorded in just 2 days. That same year, the Beatles broke up.
Ringo's passion for creating music continued to propel him forward, and in 1971 he began his unprecedented run as the first solo Beatle to score 7 consecutive Top 10 singles starting with the release of "It Don't Come Easy". His second hit single, "Back Off Boogaloo" followed in 1972 and became his biggest UK hit peaking at #2. The following year, Ringo released his self titled smash hit which yielded 3 Top 10 singles, including the number one hits, "Photograph" (co-written with George Harrison) and "You're Sixteen". Ringo also marked the first time since the breakup that all the Beatles participated in the same project, though not at the same time.
Between the years 1974-1989 Ringo continued to release more hits, including the Top Ten singles, "Only You" and "No No Song" from Goodnight Vienna, as well as the additional albums Blast From Your Past, Rotogravure, Ringo The 4th, and in 1978 Bad Boy. In 1981, Starr recorded Stop and Smell the Roses, his most critically acclaimed record since Ringo, followed by Old Wave in 1983 and Ringo's greatest hits collection, Starr Struck: Best Of Ringo Starr Vol. 2 in 1989.
The '90s saw Ringo release some of the best records of his career, and he also found consistent success as a live act with his revolving All Starr Band. The concept for the All Starr Band was first presented in 1989 and brought together only the best musicians to join him in the recording studio as well as on stage around the world. From Simon Kirke to Todd Rundgren, Ringo has teamed up with well-known musicians from various rock eras to record several albums including, Time Takes Time which had the hit single "Weight of the World", and tour world-wide. In 1992 Starr toured Europe for the first time since The Beatles and in 1998 he became the first former Beatle to play in Russia. The 9th All Starr Band tour took place in 2006.
1998 heralded the release of Vertical Man which was recorded with Mark Hudson, and marked the first collaboration with Ringo and "the Roundheads". It was one of his strongest records due largely to his deep involvement as drummer, singer, co-writer and co-producer. In the 2000s, he continued with great success with the albums VH1 Storytellers, Ringo Rama and Choose Love.
To date Ringo has released 23 solo records, which includes 14 studio albums, and continues to tour regularly with his All Starr Band. His music, as a solo artist and as a Beatle, is permeated with his personality, his warmth and humor and his exceptional musicianship, which have given us songs we all know and love.
This morning, in an in-depth exclusive interview former Beatle Ringo Starr chats with host Lynn Hoffman about his incredible career from being part of the world's most adored and famous group to his solo career to touring the globe with his All Starr Bands.
Read Ringo Starr's extended biography BIO.com.
Read The Beatles extended biography at BIO.com