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George Harrison

"Quiet Beatle" George Harrison was often overshadowed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney in the group's early days. By the time they split up, though, he'd been responsible for several of their hits (including the perennially popular "Taxman") and for some of their most interesting explorations. He became a devotee of Eastern religion and an evangelist in the Western world for such artists as sitar master Ravi Shankar. His post-Beatles career was somewhat uneven, marked by such highs as the superstar benefit Concert for Bangladesh and the album All Things Must Pass and such lows as the court decision that he'd inadvertently plagiarized The Chiffons' "He's So Fine" in "My Sweet Lord." Indeed, during the mid-'80s he abandoned music entirely to focus on HandMade Films, a company he'd founded in 1978, which produced such cult classics as "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and "Time Bandits." He returned to recording and performing in the late '80s and early '90s (including a stint with Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and others in the Traveling Wilburys), but generally lived a quiet life with his wife and son until his death from cancer in 2001. His posthumous album Brainwashed was released recently.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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