The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960, comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the most influential band of all time and were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and the recognition of popular music as an art form. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways. The band also explored music styles ranging from folk and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the Beatles revolutionised many aspects of the music industry and were often publicised as leaders of the era’s youth and sociocultural movements.
The Beatles are the best-selling music act of all time, with estimated sales of 600 million units worldwide. They are the most successful act in the history of the US Billboard charts, holding the record for most number-one albums on the UK Albums Chart (15), most number-one hits on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart (20), and most singles sold in the UK (21.9 million). The band received many accolades, including seven Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards, an Academy Award and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and each principal member was individually inducted between 1994 and 2015. In 2004 and 2011, the group topped Rolling Stone’s lists of the greatest artists in history. Time magazine named them among the 20th century’s 100 most important people.