Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Hall of fame

He's finally made it. Just in time for his big 75th birthday, Ringo Starr last year became the fourth Beatle to be accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Now the drummer can sit back and celebrate on July 7 with just about every title the industry has to offer.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Second choice

The world knows him as Ringo Starr, but his mother as Richard Henry Parkin Starkey. He was born in Liverpool on July 7, 1940, during World War II. Starr wasn't a co-founding member of the band that would change his life. The Beatles launched in 1960 as a quintet featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best on drums.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

The big break

Just before the Beatles signed their first record deal in 1962, the band restructured. Bassist Stuart Sutcliffe quit, only to die tragically of an aneurism shortly afterward. Then Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr, ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Hits like "Love Me Do" took the world by storm - and everyone loved Ringo's drumming style.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Not just a drummer

It's not that common for a drummer to also sing, but for the hit "Yellow Submarine," Ringo took on the lead vocals. Fortunately, Paul McCartney kept the melody simple while writing the song. Ringo also tried his hand at songwriting, most famously with the number "Octopus's Garden" from the "Abbey Road" album.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Ringo the actor

Beatlemania reached its climax in the late 1960s. With one sold-out concert after another, the boys with the bowl cuts had become global superstars - but not necessarily the best of friends. In 1970, conflict between Paul and John caused the Beatles to break up. Ringo then took his career to the silver screen. In 1971 he had a role in the Italian spaghetti western "Blindman."

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Giving back

After so much stardom, Starr developed an interest in helping others and, for example, joined George Harrison's campaign for refugees following the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. On August 1 of that year, Ringo joined Harrison, Bob Dylan and Leon Russell at the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

The family man

Ringo went to the altar for the first time in 1965 when he married his girlfriend Maureen Cox. The two Liverpool natives had three children, Zak, Jason and Lee. Zak took after his father and is now a drummer with the band The Who. Ringo and Maureen divorced after 10 years. In 1980, Ringo met actress Barbara Bach on the film set for the movie "Caveman." They have been married since 1981.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Solo career

When the Beatles split up in 1970, Paul and John launched solo projects. Ringo didn't lose any time in releasing two albums that year - one with pre-rock standard and the other a flirtation with country music. Since 1989, Ringo has been touring with his ensemble, Ringo Starr and the All-Starr Band, pictured here.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Crossing paths

Ringo continued to perform with all three Beatle buddies even after the band broke up. He released the George Harrison-produced hit single "It Don't Come Easy" in 1970, a top-10 hit in the US, Great Britain and Germany. Ringo and Paul McCartney are pictured here at a Grammy tribute concert to the Beatles in LA in 2014, which took place one day after the Grammy Awards.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Ringo Drumming Starr

"I like Beethoven, especially his poems," Ringo famously said. Then there's the quote: "America. It's like Britain, only with buttons." His frequently cited quotes reveal his quirky humor - and also his passion for drumming. After all, "Drumming is my middle name."

He was one-fourth of the most famous rock band of all time and followed up his Beatles era with an impressive solo career. Turning 75, Ringo Starr can be pretty pleased with himself. Here's to another 75, Ringo!

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