Beatles became the most popular group in rock music history. The group consisted of four Englishmen: George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
Lennon and McCartney wrote and sang most of the Beatles´songs. Harrison played lead guitar, Lennon played rhythm guitar, McCartney played bass and Starr played drums.
All the Beatles were born in Liverpool. Lennon and five other musicians formed a band called Quarrymen, named after the high school which they attended.
McCartney joined the group in 1957. Harrison joined Lennon and McCartney in 1958 and the three, plus bas guitarist Stu Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best, performed together under several names. They finally called themselves the Beatles in 1960. Sutclife left the group in 1961, and Starr replaced Best in 1962. Brian Epstein, who ran a Liverpool record store, became their manager in 1961. The Beatles gained nationwide fame in 1962 and worldwide fame in 1964.
The Beatles began to drift apart in the late 1960´s for a number of artistic, bisiness and personal reasons. The group broke up in 1970, but by that time their records had outsold those of any other popular music or rock music performers in history. After the breakup of the group, all the Beatles performed as soloists or led their own groups. In 1980, Lennon was shot to death outside his apartment building in New York City. A 25-year-old man named Mark Davis Chapman was convicted of the shooting.
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