Yoko Ono, born on February 18, 1933, is a singer-songwriter, artist, and filmmaker. She selected a profession in singing and performance art despite coming from an affluent and educated family, which garnered both positive and negative attention. This was primarily owing to her relationship with John Lennon, a member of The Beatles, which was widely thought to be the cause of the group’s demise. Despite this, she persevered and rose to make a reputation for herself in the worlds of music and performance art. She pushed the boundaries of music, art, and theater by doing unorthodox performances, and as a result, was a huge influence on punk and other subcultures. However, it was after her husband’s assassination that she emerged as a powerful individual, giving the music industry some of her biggest solo successes and best-seller albums. Among her various solo albums,”’Season of Glass” is regarded as her best record, receiving widespread acclaim outside of the conventional critical and avant-garde communities.
Yoko Ono was born in Tokyo City to Isoko Ono and Eisuke Ono, a rich banker, and former classical pianist. Her father was sent to San Francisco two weeks before her birth and thus was unable to meet her until the family relocated to the United States in 1935. In 1937, the family moved to Japan, where she enrolled in the Gakushūin School. The family moved to New York City in 1940, then back to Hanoi the following year, when she attended Keimei Gakuen primary school. She moved to Scarsdale, New York, with her family in 1951 and enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College, but dropped out in 1956.
Her loft events on Chamber Streets drew the attention of major avant-garde artists in New York, earning her the opportunity to collaborate with musicians such as Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, George Maciunas, and Nam June Paik. After her first marriage ended in divorce, she moved to Tokyo to live with her parents, where she met American jazz musician and filmmaker Anthony Cox before returning to New York. In Tokyo, she performed her first seminal concept art piece, “Cut Piece,” which was well-received. She reprised her exploits in Manhattan and London in 1965 and 1966, causing a sensation in the art world. In 1966, she created the creative ad video “Bottoms,” after 365 friends and volunteers agreed to have their nude buttocks photographed as part of a performance art project. At the preview of her art exhibition in London in 1966, she met John Lennon, with whom she collaborated on various musical and artistic endeavors. In 1969, they founded their band, Plastic Ono Band, and released their first live album, “Live Peace in Toronto 1969.” A year later, Ono released her first studio album, “Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band,” which peaked at 182 on the Billboard 200. In 1971, she released the double album “Fly,” followed by the protest album “Some Time in New York City,” in 1972. She released two solo albums the next year, “Feeling the Space” and “Approximately Infinite Universe.” Following her husband’s death, she recorded a mournful and bereaved solo album, “Season of Glass,” in 1981, followed by an optimistic album, “It’s Alright (I See Rainbows),” in 1982. In the years thereafter, she released several albums, including “Every Man Has a Woman,” “Milk and Honey,” and “Starpeace,” before returning to visual and performance art. In 1994, she made her off-Broadway debut with her musical “New York Rock.” Following this, Rykodisc Records reissued her solo records on C.D. in 1997. She returned to music in the 2000s, releasing albums such as “Blueprint for a Sunrise,” “Walking on Thin Ice (Remixes),” “’Yes, I’m a Witch,” “Between My Head and the Sky,” and “Yokokimthurston,” all of which became top hits. “Memories of John Lennon,” her memoirs, was published in 2005.
In 1956, she married Toshi Ichiyanagi. Unfortunately, the marriage was short-lived, and the couple divorced in 1962, after which she was briefly taken to a psychiatric hospital for serious depression. Anthony Cox, whom she married in June 1963, helped her get out of the psychiatric hospital. Kyoko Chan Cox was born in August 1963 to the couple. This marriage, too, failed, and they divorced in 1969. Her third marriage to John Lennon, the founding member of The Beatles rock band, ended in a succession of break-ups and patch-ups after he became associated with his assistant, May Pang, in March 1969. In October 1975, the couple gave birth to a son, Sean Taro Ono Lennon. The relationship came to an end after John Lennon was assassinated in December 1980. She was said to have had a romantic relationship with Sam Havadtoy, a Hungarian antique dealer, which ended in 2001. Sean Lennon, her son, is a popular musician and songwriter who released the album “Rising” with her in 1995 as part of his band Ima Rising. In 2008, he created a new band called The Ghost of a Saber-Tooth Tiger.
Yoko Ono performs “Cut Piece” at the Yamaichi Concert Hall in Kyoto, Japan, and it is a groundbreaking performance work.
She creates the artistic video "Bottoms" after 365 friends and volunteers agree to have their naked buttocks photographed as part of a performance art experiment.
The two found the band, Plastic Ono Band, and release their first album, "Live Peace in Toronto 1969."
The Japan Society of New York honors her with a lifetime achievement award.
Ono is named an honorary citizen of Reykjavik, Iceland.
Why We Love Yoko Ono
She loves the environment
In addition to being a feminist, Yoko Ono is an environmental activist. Ono cofounded Artists Against Fracking with her son Sean, an environmental effort supported by celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Lady Gaga, and Paul McCartney.
She speaks up for herself
Ono refuses to "age" or be swayed by her detractors. She previously addressed an open letter to her detractors in which she pleaded, "Please don't stop me from being the way I am… either get my power or shut up." Respect.
Her art is unique and phenomenal
Her art allows the viewer to perceive or feel what is already lovely. And we adore that kind of art, the lovely kind.
5 Surprising Facts
Her daughter was kidnapped
Anthony Cox, her second husband, kidnapped and concealed their daughter, Kyoko Chan Cox, and joined a Christian cult, cutting off all contact with Yoko Ono.
She once created her ad
For her unofficial 1971 Museum of Modern Art exhibition, Ono developed her advertisements, releasing flies on museum grounds and inviting spectators to track them as they flew across the city.
She was a trailblazer at university
She was one of the first women permitted to study philosophy at Tokyo's prestigious Gakushuin University.
She experienced an air raid
As a child, Ono was in Tokyo during an air raid on the city in March 1945 during World War II.
She challenged the parole of Lennon’s assassin
Out of worry for her safety, Ono has repeatedly challenged the parole of her husband's convicted killer, Mark David Chapman.
Yoko Ono FAQs
Has Yoko Ono remarried?
No, she is currently not married.
Does Yoko Ono have a child?
Ono has two children.
Did Yoko Ono marry Anthony Cox twice?
Yes. Their first marriage took place in 1962, but it was annulled in 1963. Their second child was born in 1963, but the couple split in 1969.
Yoko Ono’s birthday dates