The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960, becoming one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music.
The band’s best-known lineup consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later utilised many genres, ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical and other elements, in innovative ways. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as “Beatlemania”, but as their songwriting grew in sophistication, they came to be perceived by many fans and cultural observers as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era’s sociocultural revolutions.
The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with sales of over one billion units estimated by EMI Records. They have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act. According to the RIAA, as of 2012 they have sold 177 million units in the US, more than any other artist, and in 2008 they topped Billboard magazine’s list of the all-time most successful Hot 100 artists. As of 2012, they hold the record for most number-one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20. They have received 7 Grammy Awards from the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and 15 Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. They were collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people.