Sean Ono Lennon Lights Empire State Building Blue For John Lennon at 80

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The Empire State Building, in blue, to honor John Lennon, October 8, 2020, at 6:50 p.m. via EarthCam

The Empire State Building shined its world-famous tower lights in sky blue on Thursday, October 8, 2020, to celebrate John Lennon’s life and legacy ahead of what would have been his 80th birthday on October 9. The lights, with a white peace sign rotating in the mast, were illuminated at sunset and stayed on until 2 a.m. ET.

Sean Ono Lennon was given the honors to flip the switch and light up the iconic building in honor of his father. Sean Lennon shares a birthday with his father; he turned 45 on October 9.

Watch Sean Ono Lennon narrate a brief piece on his father’s relationship with New York City, and then flip the switch

The celebration coincides with the release of a new album titled, Gimme Some Truth. The Ultimate Mixes. (Capitol/UMe), which collects 36 of Lennon’s most vital and best loved songs from his solo career. Executive produced by Yoko Ono Lennon and produced by Sean Ono Lennon, the songs have all been completely remixed from scratch, radically upgrading their sonic quality and presenting them as a never-before-heard listening experience.

Related: More details on the new collection

One of New York City’s most famous residents, Lennon famously moved to Manhattan from the U.K. in 1971 following the breakup of The Beatles and called the city home until his death in 1980. A vocal lover of New York, he eventually won a hard-fought immigration battle that allowed him to stay in the United States and in his beloved, adopted hometown. Lennon and Ono lived together at The Dakota near Central Park where they raised their son Sean and where Ono still lives. Lennon wrote and recorded several solo albums in NYC including Mind Games (1973), Walls and Bridges (1974), Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975) and his collaborations with Ono, which include Sometime In New York City (1972), his final studio album, Double Fantasy (1980), and the posthumously released, Milk and Honey (1884). Notably the strings and final mixes for Lennon’s Imagine (1971) album were recorded at the famed Record Plant in NYC.

Watch a live stream of the Empire State Building here.

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