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Summary

  1. Beatles producer Sir George Martin dies aged 90
  2. His family says he 'is recognised globally as one of music's most creative talents'
  3. Sir George, who produced more than 700 records, passed away on Tuesday at his home
  4. Sir Paul McCartney leads tributes, saying Sir George was 'like a second father' to him

Live Reporting

By Lauren Turner, Kev Geoghegan and Neil Smith

All times stated are UK

Get involved

'And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make'

Neil Smith

Entertainment reporter

Sir George Martin
Michael Bennett

A fitting Beatles lyric with which to close today's extended Entertainment Live page, which has - quite understandably - been all about the life and achievements of one remarkable man.

In case you missed any of the many tributes that have been paid to Sir George Martin today, we've put together a special page for them.

But feel free to carry on sending us your thoughts and memories, which we'll try to include on Thursday's live page.

For now, we'll turn down the fader with these words from the man himself.

I've had a bloody good innings. I can't imagine anyone who's been luckier than I have with the kind of artists I've been able to record.

See you tomorrow.

More musicians remember Sir George Martin

Before we sign off for the day, here is one final selection of tributes to the man who has, quite rightly, dominated our coverage today.

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'In my life, I loved you, George Martin'

Tony Visconti
BBC

According to David Bowie's long-time producer Tony Visconti, "we lost another British hero today."

The US producer has written a lengthy tribute on Facebook that begins as follows.

George Martin was my hero. He embodied everything I believed was possible with popular music - you could make rock and roll rock and invite Beethoven and Mozart to join in. George Martin wrote the book on modern record production. I'd be nothing without his wisdom.

Visconti goes on to express sadness at the fact that, despite meeting Sir George many times at recording studios, he never had a photo taken with the late producer.

Read the full tribute.

Napes: Sir George 'helped shape modern music'

BBC Newsbeat

Jimmy Napes with Sam Smith
AFP

Jimmy Napes, the songwriter and producer who shared this year's best song Oscar with singer Sam Smith, has added to the torrent of tributes that have been paid today to Sir George Martin.

Napes, pictured left, said Sir George had "helped shape modern music" and "made some of the most influential records ever made."

Read more.

Godrich: Sir George created things 'never heard before'

Record producer Nigel Godrich, known for his work with Radiohead, spoke to Radio 4's The World at One about Sir George's influence on The Beatles.

He explained how Martin turned the ideas of the band into things that "have never been heard before", creating a "classic reference point" for modern music producers.

Listen to the interview.

'Rest in peace, George'

Ian Whiteman, of '60s band The Action, has emailed us with his memories of Sir George Martin.

George was producing The Action's recordings at the time I joined the band in 1967, and it was strange to find myself comparing notes with him about The Guildhall School of Music where we had both studied the oboe. He didn't give a fig for the fashionable world of '60s London and dressed like a friendly bank manager, except that he gave us money instead of lending it. Unlike many in the music business he was completely trustworthy. Rest in peace, George.

Caroline Muller has also been in contact with these recollections of Sir George.

I was so saddened to read this morning of Sir George Martin's passing. I had the great honour and pleasure of meeting the man in my days working at EMI in Manchester Square. Even though I was a mere secretary he always had time to talk... He was a charming man, a true gentleman and the best record producer I have had the pleasure to meet. A true genius and a gentle giant of the music industry.

Paul Mayor got in touch to say the following.

Reaching out for my Beatles albums this morning in memory of Sir George. Listen to the orchestration in Good Night from the White album or his keyboard solo on In My Life from Rubber Soul. Both beautiful pieces of music. It's a sad day but we will always have his genius in our memories, courtesy of his musicality.

We also received this tweet from Michael Jabin.

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Sir George Martin - five of the best

Our indefatigable music reporter Mark Savage has been casting an eye over Sir George Martin's back catalogue and has chosen the five songs that he believes best illustrate how versatile and innovative he was.

Three of them are Beatles tracks. You may be surprised, though, by the other two he's selected.

Read the feature.

Sir Elton John: 'End of a wonderful era'

Sir Elton John
Reuters

Sir Elton John, with whom Sir George Martin worked on the 1997 re-recording of Candle in the Wind, has said that the producer's death marks "the end of a wonderful era". 

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Harris: Sir George 'caring, articulate and creative'

Bob Harris
Getty Images

BBC Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris has paid tribute to Sir George, calling him "our finest ever producer".

He was a gentleman, kind, caring, articulate and incredibly creative. Without him the landscape of British music would be very different. His work with The Beatles changed the world.

Tributes to Sir George on TV and radio

BBC Four is showing Produced by George Martin at 22:00 GMT tonight to mark the death of its subject on Tuesday. 

The Arena programme was made to mark his 85th birthday five years ago and includes Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Cilla Black among its contributors. 

BBC 6 Music will also air three documentaries this week in memory of Sir George.

  • Thursday 10 March, 01:00 GMT: The Record Producers - George Martin (first broadcast in 1982). Presented by Andy Peebles   
  • Friday 11 March, 01:00 GMT: The Record Producers - Sir George Martin Part 1 (extended version first broadcast in 2009). Presented by Steve Levine and Richard Allinson
  • Saturday 12 March, 04:00 GMT: The Record Producers - Sir George Martin Part 2 (extended version including The Producer’s Playlist, first broadcast in 2009). Presented by Steve Levine and Richard Allinson

Marsden: Sir George was 'very, very musical'

Gerry Marsden
Getty Images

As lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers, Gerry Marsden worked with George Martin in the 1960s on such hits as You'll Never Walk Alone. 

Marsden, now 73, told the BBC that Martin allowed the musicians he worked with space to be themselves.

He'd let you go and do your own thing and then he'd listen to it and say 'Right, here's how we can change it', and he would change it slightly. The main thing was he let you go in the studio and do your own thing. He was great and he was a lovely man. He was very, very musical.

Global praise for 'sorcerer of the studio'

BBC Monitoring

A screengrab from Chinese social media site Sina Weibo
Sina Weibo

The death of Sir George Martin has made headlines around the globe.

Germany's public broadcaster said his work with the Fab Four allowed them to develop into "musical and cultural revolutionaries". 

In Russia, meanwhile, he was praised for being the kind of producer who does not "think about money but is a full member of a group".

Find out more.

'Well done George'

Another friend and collaborator of Sir George Martin has been in touch to share his memories of the late music legend.

Victor Moore tells us he was born in the same month as Sir George and performed in one of the first bands he put together.

Very sad to hear that my old friend George has passed away. We were both born in January 1926. I knew George when we were schoolboys in Bromley during the war and I was the trumpet player in the first little band he formed together with Terry Roberts on the tenor sax and Pat Greenway on the drums.

We called ourselves The Fourtune Tellers and did gigs in the Bromley and Chislehurst areas. I remember him very fondly. Our association was short-lived due to our being called up for [national] service but he was never forgotten. Well done George.

Lisa Stansfield remembers Sir George Martin

Mancunian songstress Lisa Stansfield has added her voice to the now deafening chorus of Sir George Martin tributes.

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The makers of the Martin Acoustic Guitar have also used Twitter to thank the late producer for "all the beautiful music".

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Graham Nash on the genius of Sir George Martin

Graham Nash of The Hollies and folk supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash believes Sir George Martin's work with comedy acts prepared him for the demands of The Beatles.

"The Goons had already put him through it, asking him for the sound of a giant pudding hitting a battlement wall and sliding down," he told the BBC.

"So when John came along and said, 'Can you make my voice sound like the Dalai Lama on top of a mountain in the fog?', it was no big deal to George." 

Sir George Martin: More of your memories

A selection of some of the other tributes to and memories of Sir George Martin that you've been sending us.

I had the privilege of meeting Sir George 16 years ago and he was kind enough to give me his autograph. My overriding memory is being so starstruck that I kept trying to prod a biro into his hand - for what seemed like an eternity - without realising he'd already produced a far superior writing implement from his pocket. Sir George wasn't going to sign anything with a ballpoint!

James Coles

We enjoyed 'An Evening with George Martin' at the Elgin Theatre [in Toronto]. I was thrilled to see him chat about his career and obviously his time spent with The Beatles. A distinct gentleman and extraordinary talent. Thanks for the memories.

Keith

So sad. Created Live and Let Die, still the finest Bond theme ever!!! We will miss your heart, your soul and your genius. God Bless you Sir George.

Judi O'Regan, Kent

Quite simply, George Martin changed the world. One of those rare occasions when we can truly say today is 'the day the music died'.

Paul Holmes, Oxford

Sir George Martin tributes at PMQs

Jeremy Corbyn and David Cameron
PA

Sir George Martin's death was marked in the House of Commons earlier, where both David Cameron and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to him at the start of Prime Minister's Questions.

Here's how the brief exchange played out at 12:04 GMT.

I hope the Prime Minister will join with me in mourning the death today of the 'fifth Beatle' George Martin and the wonderful music that will last for all time that he gave us...

Jeremy Corbyn

First of all let me join [Mr Corbyn] in what he said about George Martin. He was absolutely a massive figure, a giant in popular music and responsible for tunes that will live on forever more.

David Cameron

Remembering the time Sir George made a rackett

Sir George Martin with The Huggett Family in 1973
Jennifer Flint

Jennifer Flint - a member of The Huggett Family, a British-Canadian performing troupe who worked with Sir George Martin in the 1970s - has been in touch to share her memories of the late producer (pictured above, second left).

We were a performing and touring musical family of British-Canadian background and had a successful career spanning 13 years. George Martin's interest was piqued when my father rang up the first recording studio he could find listed in the London phone book - starting with 'A' [Abbey Road].

Sir George, who made two albums with the Huggetts, is seen in the picture below playing the rackett - which Jennifer Flint describes as "a renaissance reed instrument related to the bassoon" - with members of the band.

Sir George Martin with The Huggett Family in 1973
Jennifer Flint

Sir George's musical outpost in the Caribbean

George Martin at AIR Studios in Montserrat in 1979
Rex Features

To many, Sir George Martin is remembered as the "fifth Beatle" who produced some of the most popular music to come out of the UK.

But he was also responsible for building a musical outpost on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat where some of the biggest-selling albums of the 1980s were recorded.

To those who lived and worked there he will be fondly remembered as the owner of AIR Studios Montserrat, where a Who's Who of top musicians recorded hit albums throughout the decade.

Find out more from the BBC's Stephen Fottrell.

More musicians pay tribute to Sir George

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has expressed his sadness at the news of Sir George Martin's death.

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Singer-songwriter Regina Spektor said Sir George "helped new sounds come out of hiding". 

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Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, said Sir George was both an "influential music producer" and "a man of good character".

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"It’s going to be hard to imagine a world of music without George in it," wrote Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler on Facebook.

"He was a lovely man who gave so much of his talent and of himself."

Mark Knopfler tribute on Facebook
Facebook/Mark Knopfler

And Bryan Adams wrote: "Goodbye George Martin, thanks for producing the music that changed my world and everyone else's."

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The Canadian singer accompanied his tribute with a photo of the producer that he took backstage at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Buckingham Palace in 2012.  

When Sir George met The Beatles

George Martin on The Beatles
Rex Features

The Beatles' first recording session at Abbey Road was hardly an unqualified success. Faulty amps and a lack of studio experience left the band floundering, while Sir George was unimpressed with their repertoire.

Our music reporter Mark Savage has taken a look at that fateful day - and why Sir George was persuaded to sign the band after all.

Read his article.

Brian May: Sir George 'thoughtful and creative'

Brian May
get

Queen guitarist Brian May has written how "very sad" he was to hear of Sir George Martin's death. 

"But also... What a glorious innings!" he goes on. "Always, always positive, and deeply thoughtful and creative, the man was a gentle giant of popular music."

May said his "first knowledge" of Sir George had come when he was producing The Temperance Seven, a seven-piece jazz band whose hits included You're Driving Me Crazy and Pasadena. 

"I adored that work and still do," said the musicial, describing the producer as "a great influence".

Read May's full tribute.

Your memories of Sir George Martin

Some of you have been in touch with your own tributes to Sir George Martin.

Sir George Martin with Andy Trott in 2006
Andy Trott

It is with great sadness that I learned about the loss of Sir George Martin today. He was a truly fantastic man I feel honoured to have met. Thanks to George, The Beatles brought untold happiness to billions of people across the globe.

Andy Trott, pictured above with Sir George Martin in 2006

My wife and I were lucky enough to meet Sir George and Lady Martin at the Old Vicarage - his home in Coleshill - when his garden was open for The National Gardens Scheme. As a Beatles fan, I was not really expecting to meet the great man but he walked down, opened the gate and let us all in. He was thoroughly charming and mingled all day as Lady Martin led people through the kitchen for cakes and tea.

Stuart Johnson

What a wonderful musician and producer. My favourite all-time album: Sgt Pepper; my favourite ever single piece of music: a recording produced by George Martin, Strawberry Fields Forever.

Kevin Beer

So sad to hear the passing of a creative genius. Sir George's influences can be heard and enjoyed all through the Beatles' canon of innovative, imaginative and truly groundbreaking music. He truly was the fifth Beatle!

'Poltiss58'

I too am saddened to hear of the death of George Martin. I first met him when we were both students at the Guildhall School of Music. He was studying oboe and I was studying piano and used to accompany him. We became great friends and he came to my engagement party and did acrobatic tricks with a broomstick!

Pat Styles (nee Wetherill)

What an incredible force this man was in the music business. Although just a fan, it's difficult for me to listen to any Beatles song without thinking of the genius of Sir George, sitting at that sound board, mixing that wonderful music. He will be greatly missed but his legacy will live on forever.

Barbara Lovejoy

We'd love to hear more of your tributes, which you can email to us at entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Gordon Brown hails 'musical genius' of Sir George

Gordon Brown presenting Sir George Martin with the award to mark the latter's induction into the UK Hall of Fame in 2006
PA

Former PM Gordon Brown, who presented Sir George Martin with the award to mark his induction into the UK Hall of Fame in 1996, has called the late producer as "a musical genius".

It was a privilege to know someone so incredibly modest, wonderfully courteous, yet universally respected. He helped lift British music into the stratosphere.

George was often described as the fifth Beatle but he was the number one producer for a whole generation of music fans. My thoughts are with his widow Judy and his whole family.

Sir George Martin's success in figures

George Martin's awards and successes
BBC

Journalist recalls first encounter with Sir George

Writer and journalist Ray Connolly first interviewed Sir George Martin at a Beatles session in the 1960s.

"I was scared because he was like the headteacher," he told BBC News. "But then I discovered he was a really nice man."

Music stars remember Sir George Martin

Sir George Martin with Liam Gallagher in 1996
PA

Liam Gallagher, pictured above with Sir George Martin in 1996, had this to say about the legendary producer.

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Boy George, Beverley Knight and Canadian rock band Nickelback have also paid tribute on Twitter.

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Radio 2 remembers Sir George Martin

From 11:00 GMT, there will be a full tribute to Sir George Martin on Ken Bruce's Radio 2 show.

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There'll be another chance to hear Sir George Martin's Radio 2 Record Producers special tonight. 

In the programme, to be broadcast at 22:00 GMT, Sir George discusses his work as a producer, arranger and technical innovator.

The BBC station has put a lot more audio, video and archive footage of Sir George Martin on its website.

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Sir George Martin: Sir Paul McCartney pays tribute

Sir George Martin with Sir Paul McCartney in 1996
PA

Sir Paul McCartney has posted a heartfelt tribute to Sir George Martin on his website that begins as follows:

I'm so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever.

He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family.

If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle, it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I've ever had the pleasure to know.

Read the full tribute.

Sir George became 'hottest producer in the world'

Victoria Derbyshire

Historian Mark Lewisohn, who met Sir George Martin on several occasions, has told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire why the producer and The Beatles worked so well together.

He described The Beatles as "great rebels", adding of Sir George: "He too was a maverick and wanted to break the rules - and that's what they did together.

"They wanted to try something different each time and that suited his manner perfectly."

When they first met, Lewisohn went on, Sir George admired their "personality and charisma".

He appeared to be like a schoolmaster if you like - they called him the headteacher. But on the other hand, he was someone they could actually have a joke with - he would make self-deprecating remarks about himself.

They really took to him straight away. It became a beautiful relationship from about five months after they first met. They really clicked at the end of 1962. And The Beatles' breakthrough was so extraordinarily rapid that George Martin became the hottest producer in the world.

Sir George Martin: Abbey Road statement

The current custodians of the Abbey Road recording studios have paid their own tribute to Sir George Martin, a producer with whom the London institution will forever be associated.

Abbey Road Studios wish to express their deepest condolences to the Martin family on hearing the sad news that Sir George passed away yesterday, aged 90.

Sir George transformed music recording with his creative flair, innovation and passion, and we want to express our deep sadness at losing such an immensely talented, charming and warm man.

We are committed to ensuring Sir George's visionary legacy lives forever at Abbey Road Studios, and we are hugely honoured to be part of his story.

Sir George on recording The Beatles backwards

Ever wondered how The Beatles' distinctive sound came together? 

Here's Sir George Martin explaining to Howard Goodall on BBC's Arena programme how he first recorded John Lennon's voice backwards for their track Rain.

"From that moment, he wanted everything backwards," he said. "They all did."

Watch the full interview.

Dhani Harrison remembers 'dear, sweet' Sir George

Dhani Harrison has posted a photograph of his late father with Sir George Martin on Instagram

Harrison, the son of late Beatle George Harrison, remembered the producer as a "dear sweet man".

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Sir George Martin: A life in pictures

Here are a selection of images from Sir George Martin's life.

George Martin in the early 1960s
Reuters

This picture shows George Martin  in the early 1960s, the decade in which he started working with The Beatles.

Ringo Starr, Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Sir George Martin during the recording of Free as a Bird in 1995
PA

Years later, in 1995, he reunited with Ringo Starr, Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison to record John Lennon's song Free as a Bird.

Sir George Martin with his knighthood at Buckingham Palace
PA

Sir George was knighted at Buckingham Palace in November 1996 for his services to the music industry and popular culture.

George Martin with wife Judy in 2002
PA

George Martin was married twice. Here he is with his second wife, Judith, in 2002.

George Martin at his home in 1996
PA

Here is a photo of Sir George from 1996, taken at his home in the West Country where he died on Tuesday evening.

See more pictures here.

Dame Shirley Bassey 'privileged to have worked' with Sir George

Dame Shirley Bassey
BBC

Dame Shirley Bassey is the latest of Sir George Martin's many friends and collaborators to have paid tribute to the late producer.

I'm extremely saddened to hear of George Martin's passing. His contribution to music was outstanding and I'm privileged to have worked alongside George in the studio. My thoughts are with his family at this time.

Sir George Martin: Family statement

Sir George Martin's family has issued a statement confirming the details of his death, saying he was a "true gentleman to the end".

We can confirm that Sir George Martin passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening, Tuesday 8 March. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support.

Sir George started work at Abbey Road Studios in 1950 producing records for EMI's Parlophone label. He soon became famous for his innovative comedy recordings with the likes of Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Beyond the Fringe and got his first number one with The Temperance Seven in 1961.

He signed The Beatles in 1962 in a collaboration that revolutionised the art of popular music recording. In a career that spanned seven decades, he was an inspiration to many and is recognised globally as one of music's most creative talents.

He was a true gentleman to the end. The family ask that their privacy be respected at this time.

Giles Martin: 'I'm so proud to have been your son'

George Martin's son Giles, who has himself produced and remixed several Beatles records, has just tweeted a tribute to his father.

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Sir George: 'Open, honest, funny and wise'

Will Gompertz, the BBC's arts editor, has written a blog post about his memories of meeting Sir George Martin in 2012.

I went to his house fairly recently and was disarmed by his charm: his unaffected blend of humility and humour, informed by a fierce intelligence. He was open, honest, funny and wise.

He loved The Beatles. Not just because they were 'his' co-creation, but because of who they were as individuals. It was their personalities that first attracted him to them, and it was their friendship that he treasured most.

Read more from Will.

'One of the most innovative producers of all time'

Neil Portnow, president and chief executive of The Recording Academy, has paid his own tribute to Sir George Martin, a six-time Grammy winner.

Sir George, he wrote, was "one of the most innovative producers of all time" whose "impact on music is unparalleled".

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Gary Kemp: Sir George was 'Edmund Hillary of music'

According to Gary Kemp, Sir George Martin paved the way for future generations of musicians.

He was to music, said the Spandau Ballet star turned actor, what Sir Edmund Hillary - the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest - was to mountaineering.

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