From her birth in a Blackpool B&B, Cynthia Lennon experienced the highs of Beatlemania and the lows of betrayal from one of music’s greats.
Married to The Beatles’ John Lennon for six years, Cynthia, 75, died at her home in Majorca, Spain, yesterday.
Born in 1939, she went on to have a 10-year relationship with the Fab Four star.
A message on their son Julian’s website, yesterday, confirmed Cynthia had died “following a short but brave battle with cancer”.
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney said: “She was a lovely lady who I’ve known since our early days together in Liverpool. She was a good mother to Julian and will be missed by us all but I will always have great memories of our times together.”
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr tweeted: “Peace and love to Julian Lennon. God bless Cynthia.”
Born Cynthia Powell, a week after the outbreak of the Second World War, her family had moved to Blackpool to be safer.
The Powells had lived in Liverpool, but Cynthia’s mother Lillian was sent to the resort after war had been declared.
Writing in her touching 2005 memoir ‘John’ she said: “My mother, with a group of other pregnant women, had been sent to the relative safety of Blackpool where she gave birth in a tiny cell room in a bed and breakfast on the seafront.
“It was a nightmare birth. When the midwife got to her it was clear without immediate help neither my mother nor I was going to make it.”
After leaving the Fylde coast for a new life in Hoylake, Wirral, Cynthia started at art school in Liverpool where she met Lennon in 1957.
The couple married in 1962 – with fellow Beatles McCartney and George Harrison in attendance – just before Beatlemania transformed her husband into one of the most famous men in the world.
At the height of The Beatles’ early success she was, at the insistence of the band’s management, kept in the background so the group’s legions of female fans were not aware of her existence.
She stayed at home bringing up Julian while the Fab Four toured the world.
The couple divorced in 1968 after Cynthia discovered her husband’s affair with Japanese artist Yoko Ono.
The break-up prompted McCartney to pen the Beatles’ classic Hey Jude to help Julian cope with his parents’ separation. Despite the fall-out four times married Cynthia often spoke of her enduring love for her musician ex-husband, who was shot dead in New York in 1980.
Speaking to The Gazette in 1984 she said: “I think about him every time the radio comes on with a Beatles song.
“But he is somewhere else now. His death was very hard to handle but life goes on.”
Naming In My Life and The Long and Winding Road as her favourite Beatles songs, she added: “I can’t escape the past and to a certain extent I don’t want to escape it.
“The 10 years I spent with John are part of what I am.”
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