Julian Lennon (born April 8, 1963 in Liverpool, England) is a British singer, songwriter, musician, and the only child of Beatle John Lennon and Cynthia Powell. His godfather was Beatles manager Brian Epstein. It is often suggested that Julian is almost identical in appearance to his late father. His father's nickname for him was "JCJ". If Julian had been a girl he would have been named Julia, most likely after John's late mother. For a brief time John Lennon concealed the fact he was both married and had a child, because it might have hurt The Beatles' popularity.
While it was rumored that Julian's father, John, refused to let his mother hire a nanny for him, the truth is that Cynthia preferred to care for Julian herself. Growing up, Julian was kept away from publicity because of the explosion of Beatlemania.
Julian attended the set of The Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour.
Lennon has always lived in the shadow of his famous father, who split with his mother while Julian was only 5 years old. Julian has often been somewhat icy towards the subject of his father, and especially Yoko Ono and, to a much lesser extent, Sean Lennon, though it should be noted that both Sean and Julian lost John at an early age at separate times. He has had an up-and-down career as a musical artist, becoming popular with his debut album Valotte and hit song "Too Late for Goodbyes" in 1984, and again in the late 1990s; at other times he has had disappointing sales and had a period of taking drugs and drinking. After 1991 he left the music business for a number of years.
Julian's debut album Valotte was produced by Phil Ramone who produced Billy Joel's albums. The album was nominated for "Best new act Grammy" in 1985. It produced two top ten hits, the title track song "Valotte" and "Too Late For Goodbyes". This album was promoted with music videos made by legendary movie director Sam Peckinpah and producer Martin Lewis of these songs. Lennon's first-ever tour in the spring of 1985 was documented as part of the film Stand By Me: A Portrait Of Julian Lennon - a film profile started by Peckinpah and directed after Peckinpah's death by producer Martin Lewis.
Julian has had cordial relationships with the other members of The Beatles, particularly Paul McCartney. Paul and his wife Linda visited Julian in 1974 to take photographs of him for John. When Julian released Valotte, Paul sent him a telegraph wishing him good luck. In 1984 the two met up backstage at the New York studios of the TV show Friday Night Videos. In 1991, George Harrison and Dennis Tarczynski played on Julian's album Help Yourself but were not credited. Julian also recorded the song "Because" which was made famous by The Dave Clark Five in England.
There was wild media speculation that a Beatles reunion might take place with Julian in his father's place, though neither Julian nor the remaining Beatles ever endorsed the idea. The death of George Harrison has made such a grouping impossible.
Julian directly inspired the title of one of his father's most famous songs, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", a description Julian gave to describe a picture he had drawn, a watercolour painting of a girl (a classmate named Lucy) surrounded by stars. Later, Paul McCartney wrote "Hey Jude" as a way of consoling Julian because of his parents' divorce. 'Hey Jude' was meant to be 'Hey Jules', but Paul changed the name because he thought 'Jude' was an easier name to sing. Years later, Julian Lennon bought the original manuscript of "Hey Jude" in an auction.
"Good Night", a track from The Beatles' White Album, although sung by Ringo Starr, is a lullaby written by John Lennon for his son, Julian, causing tension with Cynthia who thought it brought even greater distance between father and son, to have Ringo sing the song instead of him. Also on the White Album is "Dear Prudence", which is Julian Lennon's favourite song.