The New York Daily News reports:
It’s a double fantasy. More than 45 years after the release of the 1971 John Lennon classic, “Imagine,” Yoko Ono is getting a songwriting credit for the top song of her husband’s solo career. Lennon himself admitted that he swiped the idea for “Imagine” from a book of Ono poems.
In a BBC interview with the couple in 1980, Lennon said his wife deserved credit. “But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution.”
But the move to give Ono credit for the song is not merely an attempt to re-write a historical wrong. The credit change means that “Imagine” won’t go into the public domain — making it free to use without paying off the Lennon estate — for another 70 years after the last surviving songwriter’s death.
So filmmakers, commercial makers and other artists will now have to wait until 2087 at the earliest, instead of 2050 — a change that could mean millions for Ono, what with “Imagine” remaining one of the 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century.
Ono, 84, has become a dance diva in recent years, with remixes of her earlier work scoring an astounding thirteen #1 hits on Billboard’s dance chart. Her resurgence began in 2003 with a remix of her 1981 classic Walking On Thin Ice. Her most recent chart-topper came in December 2016 with a remix of 1985’s Hell In Paradise. Ono is the oldest artist to score a #1 dance hit.