Tony Sheridan, an early supporter of The Beatles, has died aged 72.
During their early days as the Silver Beatles in Hamburg in the 1960s, they performed as Tony Sheridan’s backing band.
Ringo Starr has paid tribute to Tony Sheridan writting on his Twitter: “Goodbye to Tony Sheridan… I had a great month 1960-61, playing with him was great.”
Described as a catalyst in the Beatles’ rise to fame, they played on Tony Sheridan’s recording of My Bonnie.
After being spotted by producer Bert Kaempfert, it was their first studio session for Polydor as The Beat Brothers in June 1961.
Later that year, teenage fan Raymond Jones requested the song in Brian Epstein’s record store. Brian Epstein promised to order it and later became the Beatles’ manager, whom many still regard as the “fifth Beatle”.
Returning to Germany in 1961, the young Beatles and Tony Sheridan continued their collaboration and – at Bert Kaempfert’s instigation – recorded seven tracks.
Tony Sheridan, an early supporter of The Beatles, has died aged 72
A 1962 show at the Star Club in Hamburg, where the Liverpool band played many of their early shows, was a watershed performance – featuring Ringo Starr on drums – and helped catapult the Beatles to fame.
According to reports in the German media, Tony Sheridan died on Saturday February 16 following a long illness.
Sir Paul McCartney has issued a statement on his website saying: “Tony was a good guy who we knew and worked with from the early days in Hamburg. We regularly watched his late night performances and admired his style. He will be missed.”
In the early 1960s, the singer-songwriter toured with rock ‘n roll pioneers Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran.
Tony Sheridan had German Top 10 singles Let’s Slop and Skinny Minnie and with the Fab Four’s early commercial success, My Bonnie charted in both Britain and the US.
During his later years, Tony Sheridan lived with his third wife, Anna Sievers, in a farm house in the north of Germany. She died of cancer in 2011.
The A-list concert for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is taking place outside Buckingham Palace.
The event kicked off with the Massed Bands of the Household Division playing for the 12,000 ticket holders and the thousands more on The Mall in London.
Pop star Robbie Williams then took to the specially-constructed stage around the Queen Victoria Memorial.
Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney are among the stars who have yet to perform before the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
The Queen was not present for the first 90 minutes of the concert, taking her seat in the Royal Box at 21:00 BST.
The evening will end with the Queen lighting one of 4,500 beacons across the world marking her 60-year reign.
The concert is being broadcast live on BBC One and BBC Radio 2 in the UK and to millions around the world.
It is a joint venture between the BBC and Gary Barlow, who co-wrote Sing, the official song for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney are among the stars who have yet to perform before the Queen and other members of the Royal Family
Robbie Williams was followed on stage by Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am, his fellow Voice judge Jessie J and boy band JLS.
Gary Barlow then took to the stage himself to perform a surprise duet with Cheryl Cole.
Next on the bill was Sir Cliff Richard, who performed a decade-straddling medley of hits and his 1968 Eurovision track Congratulations.
Singer Grace Jones surely deserved some herself for performing Slave to the Rhythm while spinning a hula hoop around her midriff.
The world of classical music has been represented by Chinese pianist Lang Lang, US soprano Renee Fleming and English tenor Alfie Boe.
Other artists who have performed include Annie Lennox, Ed Sheeran and Sir Tom Jones.
Dame Shirley Bassey performed Diamonds are Forever, while Kylie Minogue – dressed as a pearly queen – was joined by street dance crew Flawless.
She was followed by Sir Elton John, who sang such tracks as Crocodile Rock and Our Song in a sparkly pink jacket.
Later pop veterans Madness will perform Our House from the roof of Buckingham Palace – the same place that Queen guitarist Brian May played the National Anthem during the Golden Jubilee concert in 2002.
Between the music acts, hosting duties are being handled by Rob Brydon, Miranda Hart, Lenny Henry and Lee Mack.
The Duke of Edinburgh is not attending the event after being taken to hospital with a bladder infection.
“We all wish him the best for a speedy recovery,” said Sir Paul McCartney.
“I hear it’s not too bad.”
Speaking backstage, Sir Cliff Richard said he had enjoyed a “fantastic” view while performing on the £200,000 ($320,000) stage, designed by world-renowned architect Mark Fisher.
“When I looked down The Mall, the crowd seemed to go all the way up to the Admiralty Arch,” he said.
Musician and presenter Jools Holland was similarly enthused following his appearance.
“The memory I’ll have was the feeling of love off all the people,” he said.
“It’s a great unifier for everybody all over the island.”
An A-list concert, which will be held in front of Buckingham Palace later today, will mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Sir Elton John are among the artists, and Madness will perform on the roof.
The audience will comprise of people who got tickets in a public ballot and those from charities with royal links.
At the end of the show, Queen Elizabeth II will light one of the last of around 4,500 beacons across the globe – in celebration of her 60-year reign.
In the afternoon, prior to the Jubilee concert, 10,000 ballot winners and VIPs will have a picnic in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
The concert follows Sunday’s spectacular River Thames pageant which attracted hundreds of thousands of rain-soaked people to watch the flotilla of 1,000 vessels.
Queen Elizabeth II travelled in a barge alongside senior members of the Royal Family as street parties were held around the country.
Buckingham Palace said the Royal Family were “touched” at the turnout, despite the weather.
The A-list concert, which starts at 19:30 BST (18:30 GMT) and will be broadcast by the BBC, also includes Robbie Williams, Ed Sheeran, JLS, Kylie Minogue, Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Dame Shirley Bassey and Annie Lennox.
And it will feature a special song – sung by 200 people from around the Commonwealth – co-written for the occasion by Gary Barlow and Lord Lloyd Webber.
An A-list concert, which will be held in front of Buckingham Palace later today, will mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Motown legend Stevie Wonder has said: “It’s an honour to celebrate The Queen. It’s an honour to celebrate Great Britain. The time is overdue that I meet Her Majesty.”
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will join the Queen at the concert.
Pop veterans Madness will play their hit Our House on the roof of Buckingham Palace – echoing Queen guitarist Brian May’s performance of the National Anthem in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee.
After the musical tribute, the Queen will greet the crowds and set the national beacon ablaze.
At 22:30 BST (21:30 GMT), Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to place a crystal glass diamond into a special pod, triggering the lighting of the last beacon in The Mall.
Beacons will be lit throughout the evening in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, the Commonwealth and other overseas territories.
Bruno Peek, pageantmaster of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee beacons, said: “We set out to have 2,012 beacons, which would have been the most ever for this type of occasion.
“To have reached double that figure reflects the national and worldwide respect and affection for the Queen and the desire to celebrate her 60-year reign.”
The network of beacons across the UK will be placed on historic landmarks, hill-top vantage points and famous mountains.
Beacons will also be placed on the battlements of the Tower of London, and at St James’s Palace, Lambeth Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham, Balmoral and Holyroodhouse.
Sixty will be lit in sequence on Hadrian’s Wall – one for each year of the Monarch’s reign.
And the highest peaks of the UK’s four nations will be lit up by teams from four charities.
Help for Heroes will conquer Ben Nevis in Scotland, Walking With The Wounded will climb Snowdon in Wales, Cancer Research UK will scale England’s Scafell Pike and in Northern Ireland, Field of Life will go up Slieve Donard in County Down.
The hotel in Kenya where the Queen was told in 1952 of her father George VI’s death – which meant she would become the monarch – will also light a beacon.
The first of the beacons will be lit on the south Pacific island of Tonga, while Tristan da Cunha, a British territory in the South Atlantic, is the location for the most remote lighting.
Like the conclusion of the Thames pageant, the evening will end with a firework display.
Diamond Jubilee beacons:
• About 4,500 beacons will be lit in the UK, Commonwealth and overseas territories
• Beacons in the UK and British dependencies will be lit in stages between 22:00 and 22:30 BST
• The Queen will light the National Beacon near Buckingham Palace at 22:30 BST
• Overseas beacons will be lit at 22:00 local time in countries including Canada, Australia and Kenya
• Two types of Beacons are used: Bonfires and the church tower beacon fuelled by bottled gas
• Beacons were lit on Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and for 1977’s Silver Jubilee