The National Music Publishing Association has announced that Ono is to be added as co-writer to the 1971 song in accordance with Lennon’s wishes
The move was revealed on Wednesday whilst Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono were at the National Music Publishing Association to receive the new Centennial Song award on behalf of Lennon for his groundbreaking “Imagine". David Israeilite, CEO of NMPA showed a video from 1980 whereby John Lennon is featured saying that Yoko deserved a writing credit for Imagine due to her influence and inspiration on the song. Israelite divulged that in harmony with Lennon’s wishes - this shall now be executed.
While Ono has yet to be formally credited, Variety
reported that Israelite confirmed the process to do this is “under way”. He also hinted that there may be some resistance to the controversial news along the way - one reason being that a song enters the public domain after 70 years after the death of its last creator. Yoko Ono being credited as a songwriter now will hugely prolong the number of years that the song can generate royalties for the writer.
Performing at the event with an emotional cover of Imagine was Patti Smith accompanied by her daughter on piano. Previous winners of the Centennial Song Award are Joan Baez, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder. At aged 87, Yoko Ono was wheeled on stage during the ceremony apparently suffering from some kind of flu-like illness, after briefly talking about that she went on to say that being ill had made her appreciate life and this song even more. She concluded with “This is the best time of my life” to which the room applauded.
Yoko recently featured on Black Lips track Occidental Front. John and Yoko's son - Sean Lennon, recently recorded and produced Black Lips latest LP Satan's Graffiti or God's Art at his upstate New York compound. Ono is due to reissue her next batch of albums for her Yoko Ono Reissue Project, which will include Fly (1971), Approximately Infinite Universe (1973) and Feeling the Space (1973) on July 14.