Musician, actor, singer, and best known as drummer for The Beatles, Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey) was born July 7, 1940 in Liverpool, England.
In his early life, he was twice affected by life-threatening illnesses during his childhood which caused him to fall behind in school and spend a lot of time in hospitals. It was in the hospital that nurses encouraged motor stimulation by presenting him with a percussion instrument. This caused Starr to grow increasingly interested in drumming and he even performed in a hospital band.
When he was nineteen, he joined his first band,the Hurricanes, that played around the Liverpool area. He met John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney, later his band mates, while on tour. It was during this time he developed his stage name Ringo Starr because he thought it sounded cowboyish.
Starr quit the Hurricanes to join The Beatles, though Beatles producer George Martin thought Starr “was crazy and couldn’t play.” However, Beatles fans had accepted him and even requested that he sing with the group. This secured his position as a core member of the group and he received the same amount of fanmail as the other members.
The Beatles broke up in 1970, however, each member went on to produce their own solo albums, including Starr. Starr even played drums for a couple of John Lennon’s albums. In 1973, he released Ringo, a commercially successful album. He continued to play and tour throughout the decades.
In 2009, Starr reunited with McCartney to perform at Radio City Hall, and he released his fifteenth studio album in 2010. Recently, Starr announced that his All-Starr Band will tour the Pacific Rim in 2013 in New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.
In addition to his musical career, Starr also has been featured in a number of documentaries, has hosted television shows, and even narrated the first two seasons of children’s television series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.