Yoko Ono’s name has been added as the co-writer of the song Imagine with her late husband John Lennon.
The honor came at the National Music Publishers Association’s Centennial meeting where the song was honored with the Centennial Song Award.
Ono did not know about her name being added until NMPA president and CEO David Israelite said “While things may have been different in 1971, today I am glad to say things have changed. So tonight, it is my distinct honor to correct the record some 48 years later, and recognize Yoko Ono as a co-writer of the NMPA Centennial Song Imagine and to present Yoko Ono with this well-deserved credit.”
The ceremony continued with the playing of a BBC interview with John Lennon that confirmed Ono’s participation in the song.
Actually that should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it, the lyric and the concept, came from Yoko, but those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of Grapefruit, her book. There’s a whole pile of pieces about ‘Imagine this’ and ‘Imagine that’.
Ono attended the ceremony with her son, Sean Ono Lennon, who posted a picture of he and his mother with Patti Smith and her daughter on Instagram, talking about the evening.
Proudest day of my life: The National Music Publishers Association just gave the centennial (song of the century) award to Imagine, but WAIT! Surprise! They played an audio interview of my father saying (approximately) ‘Imagine should’ve been credited as a Lennon/Ono song, if it had been anyone other than my wife I would’ve given them credit.’ Cut to: my mother welling up in tears, and then Patti and Jesse Smith @michiganmanhattan Imagine! Patience is a virtue! ✌️❤✌️❤✌️❤✌️ (PS they officially declared Imagine to be a Lennon/Ono song and gave my mother a second award! 🙏).