Beatles' George Harrison Celebrated on What Would Have Been His 77th Birthday

On Tuesday, fans celebrated late Beatles guitarist George Harrison on what would have been his 77th birthday.

Harrison was born in Liverpool, England in 1943. He began playing guitar in 1956, after first hearing Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel." In 1958, he auditioned for John Lennon and Paul McCartney's skiffle group The Quarrymen, which later became the iconic group The Beatles.

By the mid-1960's, Harrison's interest in folk and Indian music began to shift the Beatles' musical direction. The guitarist began introducing non-Western instruments to the band by 1965's Rubber Soul, where he played a sitar on "Norwegian Wood." On Revolver the following year, he played tambura on "Tomorrow Never Knows."

In the band's later career, he wrote a number of The Beatles' most popular songs including "Here Comes the Sun", "Something", and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

After The Beatles' 1969 break-up, Harrison released 12 solo albums, with All Things Must Pass being his first chart-topping album. Living in the Material World followed the album in 1973, earning him his second no. 1. Harrison also worked with influential Indian musician Ravi Shankar on his 1997 album Chants of India. He was diagnosed with throat cancer shortly after the album's release and promotion.

Harrison passed away at 58-years-old on November 29, 2001 in Beverly Hills, California. His final album Brainwashed was released posthumously in 2002.

George Harrison
English singer-songwriter, guitarist and former Beatle, George Harrison (1943 - 2001), Cannes, France, 30th January 1976. Harrison is in Cannes for the Midem music industry trade fair. Michael Putland/Getty

Fans shared photos and quotes of the singer to celebrate his birthday.

"And the time will come when you see we're all one / And life flows on within you and without you"

George Harrison - born this day in 1943.#GeorgeHarrison #TheBeatles

— Liam Wilkinson (@liamdwilkinson) February 25, 2020

it’s still your birthday to me.. the quiet Beatle.. my favorite Beatle.. happy birthday, mystery man #GeorgeHarrison

— rat salad. (@samiamthewalrus) February 25, 2020

Spiritual-life strategist Ariaa Jaeger shared memories of seeing Harrison perform with The Beatles and later meeting him when she was a young musician. "When I was 20 I met him & spent a week parasailing, water gliding and laughing," she wrote. "You lit my life."

When I was 8, I saw him in concert, the Beatles first tour in America. When I was 20 I met him & spent a week parasailing, water gliding and laughing. I was an upcoming recording artist, he had signed from Dark Horse to WEA. Happy Birthday #GeorgeHarrison You lit my life.

— Ariaa Jaeger (@AriaaJaeger) February 25, 2020

Musician Roy Orbison Jr. wished The Beatle a happy birthday, calling him "Uncle Nelson Wilbury," referencing his father's project with Harrison The Traveling Wilburys.

Happy Birthday George Harrison!

Also known as The Quiet Beatle, my Uncle Nelson Wilbury was born February 25, 1943. He would be 77 years old today.#HappyBirthday #GeorgeHarrison #Beatles #TravelingWilburys #OTD #OnThisDay

— Roy Orbison Jr (@Royorbisonjr) February 25, 2020

Sunny Days author David Kamp shared a lengthy Twitter thread recounting when he was supposed to interview Harrison for Vanity Fair, but the opportunity passed due to a legal deposition he needed to give in 1999. He then wrote about interviewing the musician's widow Olivia Harrison over a decade later for Martin Scorsese's Living in the Material World documentary. He concluded writing about admiring the guitarist's garden with his widow, including a photo of his Himalayan blue poppies and purple clematis.

I was told that George would be in touch in due time. But it didn’t happen, and, shortly thereafter, he fell ill again with cancer, from which he never recovered. He died in 2001…

— David Kamp (@MrKamp) February 25, 2020

And then she sent me these lovely photos of his Himalayan blue poppies and purple clematis, which I will leave you with. जन्मदिन की शुभकामनाएं, #GeorgeHarrison!

— David Kamp (@MrKamp) February 25, 2020

Besides fans and musicians celebrating his life, The Beatles' and his estate's Twitter accounts announced that a new memorial woodland in Liverpool would open in 2021 to honor his life. According to Culture Liverpool, the 12-acre site will combine garden and woodland with art installations inspired by Harrison's life and lyrics.

To mark George's birthday today, the Liverpool City Council and the Harrison Estate proudly announce The George Harrison Woodland Walk, a memorial woodland opening in Liverpool in 2021. Artists are encouraged to submit artwork for the garden here –

— George Harrison (@GeorgeHarrison) February 25, 2020