Beatles’ achievements marked 50 years on from US TV debut

It’s almost half a century since they brought the whole of the America to a standstill with their first televised appearance.

To mark this, and their myriad other achievements, the Beatles were set to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at a star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles.

The Recording Academy Special Merit Awards ceremony was the first of several celebrations of the surviving Beatles, Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney, the latter of whom was unable to make the ceremony because of Grammy Awards rehearsals.

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The two were due to appear at the Grammy Awards ceremony and will be the subject of a television special taped tomorrow to air on February 9, the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first performance in the US.

Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, the widows of Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison, accepted the honours last night for their late husbands.

Accepting his award, Starr said: “The Beatles’ music is still out there, and that’s the thing I’m most proud of.”

The Beatles and Kris Kristofferson were among an influential group to receive awards at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

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The Isley Brothers, whose songs Shout and Twist and Shout were early touchstones for The Beatles, were also honoured with a lifetime achievement award.

Ronald Isley recounted a story about recently speaking with McCartney about those early hits.

“Me and Paul talk about that all the time,” Isley said, noting the two recently spent time together after a concert. “And we talked about that all night, and he said, you know, if it wasn’t for our group, they would probably still be in Liverpool.”

Also set to do well at this year’s Grammy Awards were Birmingham metal band Black Sabbath, whose comeback album 13 last year topped the charts in countries across the globe.