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Friday, 30 November, 2001, 13:20 GMT
George Harrison dies
Ringo Starr, Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Sir George Martin
Harrison (second right) with fellow Beatles and Sir George Martin in 1995
Former Beatle George Harrison, singer, songwriter and guitarist for one of the world's most famous pop groups, has died after losing his battle against cancer.

Harrison died on Thursday at a friend's Los Angeles home, at 1330 local time, according to his longtime friend Gavin De Becker.

Fans have been laying flowers at his statue in Liverpool
Fans have laid flowers at his statue in Liverpool
"He died with one thought in mind - love one another," De Becker said.

De Becker said Harrison's wife Olivia and son Dhani, 24, were both with him when he died.

Harrison's family issued a statement saying: "He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends.

"He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another'."

George Harrison
Harrison was the youngest Beatle
Fans have been laying floral tributes outside the Abbey Road recording studios in London, where the Beatles recorded almost all their work, at his Friar Park home in Henley-on-Thames and outside the Cavern Club in Liverpool.

In New York, fans began gathering before dawn at Strawberry Fields, an area of Central Park named after the Beatles song in the wake of John Lennon's murder in 1980.

God give him peace

Sir George Martin
A book of condolence has been opened for Harrison at Liverpool Town Hall, where official flags are being flown at half-mast.

The city council has announced that there will be a memorial service for the former Beatle, but no date has been set.

A council spokesman said that the family's wishes would be taken into account before deciding the form of any memorial.

The Coldstream Guards band played a tribute Beatles medley during the Changing The Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Tributes from fans outside Abbey Road studios
And mayor of Henley Tony Laine said the town was flying a flag at half mast.

Speaking outside his home in St John's Wood, north west London, Sir Paul McCartney said: "I am devastated and very very sad.

"We knew he'd been ill for a long time. He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humour.

"He is really just my baby brother."

"I loved him very much and I will miss him greatly.

Ringo Starr, speaking from Vancouver, Canada said: "We will miss George for his sense of love, his sense of music and his sense of laughter."


John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, said: "My deep love and concern goes to Olivia and Dhani."

Thank you George, it was grand knowing you

Yoko Ono

"The three of them were the closest, most loving family you can imagine.

"George has given so much to us in his lifetime and continues to do so even after his passing, with his music, his wit and his wisdom.

"Thank you George, it was grand knowing you."

Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth was "very sad to hear of the death of George Harrison".

Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "People of my generation grew up with the Beatles, and they were the background to our lives.

George and Olivia Harrison
Harrison married his second wife Olivia in 1978
"He wasn't just a great musician, an artist, but did a lot of work for charity as well. He'll be greatly missed around the world."


Beatles producer Sir George Martin described Harrison as "caring deeply for those he loved".

"Olivia and Dhani have borne his illness with enormous courage and devotion," he said.

"Now I believe, as he did, that he has entered a higher state. God give him peace."

Harrison, who was 58, announced in July he had received treatment in Switzerland for a tumour. He also had surgery for lung cancer in May.

The Beatles
The Beatles: Achieved unprecedented fame
Harrison's life was also threatened when he was stabbed by an intruder at his home in at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire in 1999.

The former Beatle, who met his fellow band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr where they grew up in Liverpool, was just 27 when the band split in 1970.

They managed to conquer the world musically, achieving 27 number one records in the UK and the US during their career.

Their most recent album, compiling all their number one hits, called 1, topped both the UK and the US charts during 2000.


George was the first Beatle to enjoy solo success
Harrison's post-Beatles career started with the critically acclaimed solo album All Things Must Pass.

His role as a film producer took off when he worked on Monty Python's Life of Brian in 1979.

He was also responsible for The Long Good Friday, Time Bandits and Mona Lisa.

In the 1980s Harrison teamed up with Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison as The Travelling Wilburys.

The BBC's Catherine Marston in Liverpool
"Many people feel compelled to pay their respects"
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney
"I love him dearly"
Musician Sir Bob Geldof
says George Harrison leaves behind a unique legacy
See also:

17 Mar 00 | C-D
Lung Cancer
09 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Harrison buys Swiss villa
16 Nov 00 | UK
Beatle's attacker 'insane'
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