Legendary music producer and 'fifth Beatle' George Martin has died

Sir George Martin became known as 'the fifth Beatle' thanks to his work with the Liverpuddlian band

George Martin, Beatles,

Image: John Stillwell / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Music producer George Martin, known as 'the fifth Beatle' has died at the age of 90.

Martin's long and successful career began in 1950 after he concluded his studies at the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a professional oboist.

He became head of the Parlophone music label in 1955, and went on to sign The Beatles in 1962, enjoying 17 chart-topping hits with the band.

Speaking about meeting the band for the first time and being struck by the potential, he said "I liked them as people apart from anything else, and I was convinced that we had the makings of a hit group".

However, he was not convinced they had any songwriting ability: "As composers, they didn't rate. They hadn't shown me that they could write anything at all. 'Love Me Do' I thought was pretty poor, but it was the best we could do."

After the group broke up, he started his own music publishing company and set about working with other artists such as Jeff Beck, Bob Dylan, Sting and Sir Elton John. Martin also recorded two of Sir Paul McCartney's solo albums, Tug Of War and Pipes Of Peace.

He was awarded a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988, which was followed by a knighthood in the 1996 birthday honours.

According to his official website, he remains the world's most successful record producer - racking up 30 number ones across the UK and US singles charts.

Speaking on Twitter, drummer Ringo Starr confirmed the news, stating that he "will be missed", as well as sharing an image of the producer with the band. 

Another northern music icon, Liam Gallagher, has also expressed his condolences on Twitter, simply writing: "Sir George Martin RIP LG x".

C A Management, which represented Martin, issued a statement saying that he "passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening, Tuesday March 8th. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support.

He added that, in a career that spanned seven decades, he "helped revolutionise the art of popular music recording" and "was recognised globally as one of music's most creative talents and a gentleman to the end".