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Cynthia Lennon, first wife of John Lennon, dies aged 75

Cynthia Lennon, the British first wife of slain Beatle John Lennon, has died aged 75, the couple’s son Julian says.

A message on Julian Lennon’s website said Cynthia “passed away today at her home in Mallorca, Spain following a short but brave battle with cancer.”

Julian and Cynthia Lennon.

"Her son Julian Lennon was at her bedside throughout. The family are thankful for your prayers," it added.

Julian Lennon wrote and sang a song of tribute to his mother that was posted on the site with a montage of family snapshots and footage.

Watch it here:

"You gave your life for me, you gave your life for love," the song begins. It ends with the words "I know you're safe above."

Cynthia met John Lennon at an art class in the British city of Liverpool when she was 18 and the couple married in 1962."You couldn't resist being around him," she said in a 2005 interview with US television.

"You couldn't resist watching what he was up to. I mean, he was a total rebel."

In her 2006 memoir of the relationship, titled John, Cynthia said the pair had had an intense but turbulent relationship.

Cynthia's book on John
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"He was a very jealous young man at the time, and he had a lot of pain inside," she said, explaining that he had once hit her.

They stayed together until 1968, as The Beatles became the world's biggest group. John left her after beginning an affair with Japanese artist Yoko Ono, and the couple divorced.

The song, Hey Jude, was later written by John's fellow Beatle Paul McCartney to comfort Julian Lennon during his parents' break-up, and was initially titled Hey Jules.

'Totally different from John ... but she was loyal to him'

British journalist Hunter Davies, who wrote the only official biography of The Beatles, remembered Cynthia Lennon as a "lovely woman."

"She was totally different from John in that she was quiet and reserved and calm," Davies said.

"John treated her appallingly. He slept with Yoko in their marital home and as we discovered later, he also physically attacked her, but she was loyal to him," he added.

John Lennon was later murdered by a troubled fan in New York in 1980.

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At the time he was reconciling with Julian.

"Near the end, before his tragic death, of course, they were getting close on the phone. They were connecting," she said.

"It was just coming back and it was wonderful. Then, of course, his life was cut very short."

After Cynthia's death was announced, Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr tweeted a tribute: "Peace and love to Julian Lennon. God bless Cynthia."

Yoko Ono said she was "saddened" by Cynthia Lennon's death.

"She was a great person and a wonderful mother to Julian," Ono wrote on her Facebook page.

"She had such a strong zest for life and I felt proud how we two women stood firm in the Beatles family."

After her split from John Lennon, Cynthia remarried three times, tying the knot for the fourth and final time in 2002 with nightclub owner Noel Charles who died in 2013.

This post originally appeared on the ABC and has been republished here with full permission.
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