John Lennon’s £1.4m ‘Imagine’ piano loaned to museum by George Michael’s estate

George Michael's estate has continued the late singer's wishes to put a piece of John Lennon music history owned by Michael on display.

On October 18 2000, George Michael bought the piano that John Lennon used to write the iconic song Imagine for an eye-watering £1.45 million, with the intention that it should be on display in Lennon's home city of Liverpool.

George's estate has now loaned the piano to Strawberry Field Museum in Liverpool, the site where a young Lennon used to play and the inspiration for The Beatles song Strawberry Fields Forever.

The late George Michael said to journalists at the time of purchase, "It’s not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people."

He toured the upright Steinway model Z piano as a symbol of peace in the early noughties, and also composed on and played the piano on the title song of his album Patience.

The former Wham star and Faith singer broke the record for the highest amount ever paid for a piece of music memorabilia in the early noughties, when he purchased the piano, used by Lennon to compose the 1971 song Imagine.

Imagine's lyrics of peace, love and politics are well-known throughout the world, and also featured in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Footage of the singer composing the song on the piano shows Lennon turning to his keyboard player and saying, "that's the one I like best."

This year marked the iconic song's 50th anniversary, with a special event taking place at Strawberry Field Museum to commemorate the song's anniversary.

A student from Paul McCartney's performing arts school LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) played Imagine on the piano during the event.

They were joined by the Liverpool Signing Choir, along with John Lennon's sister and Major Kathy Versfield, Mission Director of Strawberry Field, who signed the words to the song.

Last year a number of events were held across the world to mark what would have been the music legend's 80th birthday.

This month on October 9 2021 also marks what would have been John Lennon's 81st birthday.

Lennon was killed on December 8 1980, after he was fatally shot by Mark Chapman in New York outside of his hotel building.

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