The Concert for George was conducted at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 29, 2002, the first anniversary of George Harrison’s passing. Recently, the event celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Eric Clapton served as the event’s musical director, and Olivia Harrison, Harrison’s widow, and Dhani Harrison, his son, organised it. The earnings from the event were donated to Harrison’s newly established Material World Charitable Foundation.

Also read: Why was Concert for George held in 2002?

Who was George Harrison?

George Harrison MBE, an English musician, and singer-songwriter born on February 25, 1943, rose to prominence around the world as the Beatles’ main guitarist. Harrison, who was sometimes referred to as “the quiet Beatle,” loved Indian culture and contributed to the expansion of popular music by incorporating Indian instruments and spirituality that were in line with Hinduism

The majority of Beatles albums from 1965 onwards included at least two Harrison compositions, despite the fact that John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the majority of the band’s songs. Taxman, Within You Without You, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here Comes the Sun, and Something are some of the songs he wrote for the band.

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Early musical influences on Harrison were Django Reinhardt and George Formby; later inspirations included Carl Perkins, Chet Atkins, and Chuck Berry.

By 1965, Harrison had started to guide the Beatles toward Indian classical music by using Indian instruments, like the sitar, on multiple Beatles songs, starting with Norwegian Wood, and towards folk rock through his interest in Bob Dylan and the Byrds. He was the driving force behind the band’s adoption of Transcendental Meditation in 1967 and later became associated with the Hare Krishna movement.

Harrison’s triple album All Things Must Pass, which received critical praise after the band disbanded in 1970, featured his most popular hit song, My Sweet Lord, as well as the slide guitar, which would become his trademark sound as a solo performer.

Also read: Why Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles is called Macca

Along with Indian musician Ravi Shankar, he also organised the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, which served as a model for other charity events like Live Aid. Harrison worked as a music and film producer for the Beatles’ Apple record label before starting Dark Horse Records in 1974. In 1978, he co-founded HandMade Films, primarily to make the Monty Python comedy The Life of Brian (1979).

As a solo artist, Harrison put out a number of top-selling songs and albums. He created the platinum-selling supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with them in 1988. He was a prolific recording artist who worked with artists like Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, and Tom Petty on songs and music. He also appeared as a guest guitarist on songs by Badfinger, Ronnie Wood, and Billy Preston. He was voted 11th among the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. He was twice inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: once posthumously for his solo career in 2004 and once as a member of the Beatles in 1988.

Also read: The best Paul McCartney songs for The Beatles

The first marriage Harrison had, to model Pattie Boyd, ended in divorce in 1977. He married Olivia Arias the next year, and they had a son named Dhani.

At the age of 58 and two years after escaping a knife attack by an intruder at his house, Friar Park, Harrison passed away from lung cancer in 2001. His body was cremated, and the ashes were dispersed in a private Hindu ceremony in India’s Ganges and Yamuna rivers. His estate was close to £100 million.