USPS to Honor John Lennon With Forever Stamp

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The U.S. Postal Service revealed on Dec. 12, 2017 that John Lennon would be the latest addition to its Music Icons series, with a stamp featuring the late Beatle. In their announcement, the USPS noted that the newest stamp: “honors singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940–1980), a rock ’n’ roll hero successful both as a founding member of the Beatles and as a solo artist.”

On May 10, the USPS unveiled new artwork for the Lennon stamp, part of the Forever series. The stamp features a photograph of Lennon taken by noted rock-and-roll photographer Bob Gruen in August 1974. Taken on the rooftop of Lennon’s Manhattan apartment, the photograph is part of a series of images taken by Gruen during the photo session for Lennon’s 1974 album Walls and Bridges.

The Lennon stamp will be introduced in New York on Sept. 7. (More information to come, including the stamp dedication ceremony.)

From the announcement: “The original black-and-white photograph has been treated in gradations of color: from yellow orange to red in the top row, from red to light purple in the second row, from light purple to dark purple in the third row and from dark purple to blue in the bottom row. Lennon’s signature appears at the top of the stamps. ‘USA,’ the peace symbol, and the Forever denomination appear along the bottom.

“The stamp pane is designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the pane includes the stamps and brief text about Lennon’s legacy, with the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve.

“This black-and-white photograph of Lennon seated at his white piano appears on the reverse side of the stamp pane, along with Lennon’s signature and the Music Icons series logo.

“Taken by photographer Peter Fordham, the original photograph was used to promote Lennon’s landmark 1971 solo album, Imagine.”

From the USPS: “The USPS launched the Music Icons stamp series in 2013. The selected performers for the series, representing diverse eras and types of music, are featured on stamps with panes that feature the Music Icons logo so that each issue is branded like a record label release. Each pane resembles the sleeve of a 45 rpm single, with the sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of one side, and a full color ‘cover’ image on the other.”

Tejano performer Lydia Mendoza inaugurated the Music Icons series in May 2013. The following month, country star Johnny Cash was featured as the second of the series. In September 2013, Ray Charles became the third honoree. Jimi Hendrix received the honor as the fourth entry in March 2014. Janis Joplin joined the short list in August 2014. One year later, in August 2015, Elvis Presley was added to the Music Icons series.

The Janis Joplin stamp, issued by the USPS in 2014

In the Dec. 12 announcement, the USPS revealed that a stamp honoring legendary performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne would be added to the Black Heritage series, and that Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers) would have his own stamp, noting, “His groundbreaking public television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity and honesty.”

Related: The Royal Mail created a series of stamps honoring David Bowie in 2017

The USPS has a detailed list of rules for stamp subject selection criteria which include:

“U.S. postage stamps and stationery will primarily feature American or American-related subjects. Other subjects may be considered if the subject had significant impact on American history, culture or environment.

“The Postal Service will honor extraordinary and enduring contributions to American society, history, culture or environment.

“Living people will not be considered at the present time. Beginning in 2018, proposals for a deceased individual will be considered three years following his/her death.”

Lennon received his U.S. Resident Alien registration in 1976 and was told he would be eligible for U.S. citizenship in five years. He was slain in December 1980 before he had the opportunity to do so.

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8 Comments so far

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  1. Steven O
    #1 Steven O 14 December, 2017, 15:32

    Ironically, Lennon was under investigation by the FBI for several years. Now his face will be on a U.S. postage stamp. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. Brad
    #2 Brad 15 December, 2017, 01:58

    Instead of ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ it will now be ‘Roll Over Dick Nixon.’

    Reply this comment
  3. Shiva
    #3 Shiva 17 December, 2017, 10:45

    Love it. John Lennon continues to inspire millions

    Reply this comment
  4. Penny
    #4 Penny 17 December, 2017, 11:43

    That’s so awesome,he was a talented man and what other way to honor him,his music will live on forever

    Reply this comment
  5. donnas
    #5 donnas 18 December, 2017, 03:25

    He proved nixon was a liar ,after they admitted lennons phone was tapped

    Reply this comment
  6. Guillermo
    #6 Guillermo 7 January, 2018, 11:46

    Ironically enough, it was Presidential contender, consumer protection and environmentalist extraodinaire Ralph Nader , a huge fan of the Beatles, who was the most prominent American to be publicly opposed to the USPS’s decision to issue the Elvis commemorative US$0.29 stamp, as it would take “1 million of these stamps to be kept by collectors for it to make any profit for the USPS”. After two months, the USPS managed to sell each and every one the 500 million stamps it printed, with some 124 million of them having been kept by collectors, thus making a US$36 million profit for the USPS (or US$51.5 million in 2017 dollars). All of those numbers were, and continue to be, to this date, all time records for the USPS. Only Elvis has been able to do this and given how people communicate nowadays, the chances of his records in this regard being broken in future are NIL

    Reply this comment
  7. Mar
    #7 Mar 12 May, 2018, 12:35

    Does anyone know when this will actually be available? I don’t want to miss out!

    Reply this comment

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