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Beatles legend Ringo Starr’s country music album was inspired by another music icon


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Ringo Starr has gone country after all these years.

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.”

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.

Side by side photos of Ringo Starr and T Bone Burnett

Starr worked with T Bone Burnett, who told Variety that the Beatle is “such a beautiful singer.” (Getty Images)

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“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.”

WATCH: RINGO STARR REVEALS THE FELLOW ICON WHO HELPED INSPIRE HIS NEW COUNTRY ALBUM

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)

BEATLE RINGO STARR REFLECTS ON SPREADING ‘PEACE AND LOVE’ FOLLOWING THE ’60S: ‘IT WAS PART OF HOW WE FELT

“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.”

WATCH: BEATLES LEGEND RINGO STARR CELEBRATES HIS 84TH BIRTHDAY WITH PEACE AND LOVE

Longevity is a recurring theme in Starr’s life. He’s been friends with fellow Beatle Paul McCartney for the better part of 62 years since joining the band started by McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison in 1962.

Ringo Starr and Paul McCart

“We are friends. We are pals. We are brothers,” Starr said of his relationship with McCartney, (Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

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“We are friends. We are pals. We are brothers,” he said of his relationship with McCartney, the only other living member of the legendary band.

“Paul and I will have dinner together; we’re still buddies,” Starr told USA Today in May. “George (Harrison) and John, I certainly miss them. I’m an only child, and suddenly I had three brothers, and it was great.

The Beatles in 1965

Starr said of his bandmates, “I had three brothers, and it was great.” (Getty Images)

“If he comes to LA, we certainly do something. And when I get to England, we’ll do something there. It’s just what we do. We went to Paris together (in March) for Stella McCartney’s clothing line. But really we went there for the lunch. But, no, really, we were hanging out. We went by train and were all sitting in the same carriage. We had a good time.”

Ringo Starr, Stella McCartney, and Paul McCartney posing together

Ringo Starr and Stella and Paul McCartney attended Stella McCartney’s Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Show as part of Paris Fashion Week earlier this year. (Swan Gallet/WWD via Getty Images)

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In addition to his new album, Starr is also on the road again with his All-Starr Band, with dates going into the fall across the country.



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