July 14, 2024

At Ringo’s Annual Peace & Love Birthday Celebration at Beverly Hills Garden Park, the Beatles legend revealed what inspired the genre shift.

Starr credits T Bone Burnett, the Grammy-winning country icon, telling Fox News Digital, “I met him [when] Olivia Harrison was reading poems for George.

There was about 100 of us there listening, and he was one of them, and I bumped into him [off and on] since the ’70s.

“He said, ‘What are you doing? I said, ‘Oh, well I’m doing this, EPs [extended play albums, which have more tracks than a single, but less than a record]. I’m getting people to write a song, put some music on it.”

Close up of Ringo Starr flashing peace signs
Ringo Starr decided to produce a country album after a chance meeting with a fellow music icon. (Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)

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Starr had some pop songs written but said Burnett’s song was “absolutely one of the most beautiful country songs I ever heard. So, I thought, ‘I’m going to do a country EP.’”

But when he spoke to Burnett about doing more tracks, he revealed he actually had nine songs, so Ringo said, “I thought let’s make a real CD, so I’m back making a CD.”

In an interview earlier this year with Variety, Burnett had similar praise for Starr.

“He’s such a beautiful singer. Ringo was in a band with two of the best singers in rock ‘n’ roll history, so people never took him as seriously as a singer as they should,” Burnett told the outlet.

“If you listen to all the country stuff he did, ‘What Goes On’ and ‘Act Naturally’ and ‘Honey Don’t,’ he did so much great country music, even in the Beatles. And, you know, he’s called Ringo Starr because that’s a cowboy name, and he wanted to be a cowboy when he was a kid.

“As we all did back in those days; we always all wanted to be Gene Autry. He asked me to write a song for him, and I wrote that song ‘Come Back’ in a Gene Autry style for him, and it kind of kicked off this whole songwriting binge I’ve been on. And now I’m still writing all the time.

“I mean, Ringo in his third act is deserving of a serious album. … I want to make a classic Ringo Starr country record. I think we can.”

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Ringo Starr reveals the fellow icon who helped inspire his new country albumVideo
As Burnett indicated, this upcoming album isn’t the first time Starr has given country music a go. In 1970, he released his second solo album, “Beaucoups of Blues,” which was full of country and western influences.

Starr turned 84 Sunday, celebrating, as he has been for the past 16 years, at Ringo’s Annual Peace & Love Birthday Celebration.

When asked about the celebration and why there still isn’t peace in the world, Starr replied, “It takes time. I can only promote it; I have no strength to end it. But it’s getting better.

Ringo Starr giving double peace sign
Starr turned 84 Sunday, celebrating the occasion at Ringo’s Annual Peace & Love Birthday Celebration. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA)

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“If we get one more person today from last year, we’re building up. And we’re getting a lot more than one, I’ll tell you that.”

As for his health, he said, “I’m fit as a fiddle and doing good,” sharing that he’d enjoyed a breakfast of croissants and coffee to celebrate.

He also told Fox News Digital, “I work out nearly every day.”

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