(NEW YORK) -- Oct. 9 marks what would have been the 70th birthday of John Lennon, who was murdered Dec. 8, 1980 outside his New York City apartment building. The milestone birthday of the former Beatle will be marked by special events around the world on Saturday. All his solo albums have also just been reissued, and a new movie about his early years, Nowhere Boy, hits theaters Friday.
Despite the fact he's been dead for 30 years, Lennon's music, and the music he made with the Beatles, continues to inspire generations of artists. ABC News Radio spoke to other musicians to hear what they had to say about Lennon and his legacy.
- Madonna is an admirer, not only of Lennon's music, but also the fact that he was controversial and politically-aware. She said a few years ago, "I think he was a real rebel, and I respect and admire that he was outspoken against the [Vietnam] war and that he seemed like someone who was searching for the truth." She added, "I think he was a real poet...I think it was a great tragedy when he left this world."
- Melissa Etheridge, a Lennon fan who covered his song "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," says, "I look at his career, and his choices, his artistry, his dedication to music and to the social pulse of the time, and I look to his career as one I would like to emulate."
- David Archuleta made the judges, and the country, sit up and take notice when he sang John Lennon's "Imagine" on American Idol season seven, and he will forever be in Lennon's debt for that. He says, "If it weren't for singing 'Imagine,'...I don't think I would've had the kind of opportunities, and I wouldn't have been able to leave as much of an impression people. I owe so much to John Lennon for that song." He also loves Lennon's work with The Beatles, calling their music "timeless."
- Jesse McCartney may share a last name with Lennon's bandmate Paul McCartney, but he's not related. He is, however, a Beatles fan, and is particularly impressed with the group's ability to continue selling albums, 40 years after they broke up. He says, "They are just, y'know, moguls in music. They still sell more albums than anybody. I think in the last decade, they sold more records than anyone..it's crazy. They still have such an influence, and will for years to come."
- Donny Osmond, who as a kid experienced almost as much teen adulation during "Osmondmania" as Lennon did during Beatlemania, says that he only met John once, but he certainly influenced him. Osmond says, "He influenced everybody in the music business. So this weekend...I think everyone involved in music, [and] in the music industry needs to just take a little time and pause, and give thanks for the talent of John Lennon."
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