The Beatles were an English rock group from Liverpool whose members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music.
In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries: their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion discs and tapes worldwide. The Beatles are the best-selling musical act of all time in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles #1 on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, their innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today.
The Beatles led the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.Beatlemania crosses the Atlantic
On 7 February 1964, a crowd of four thousand fans at Heathrow Airport waved to The Beatles as they took off for their first trip to the United States as a group. They were accompanied by photographers, journalists (including Maureen Cleave), and Phil Spector, who had booked himself on the same flight. The pilot had radioed ahead, and as they prepared to land said, "Tell the boys there's a big crowd waiting for them." New York's newly-renamed JFK Airport had never experienced such a crowd, estimated at about 3,000 screaming fans. After a press conference (where they first met Murray the K) they were put into limousines and driven to New York City. On the way, McCartney turned on a radio and listened to a running commentary: "They [The Beatles] have just left the airport and are coming to New York City..." After reaching the Plaza Hotel, they were besieged by fans and reporters. Harrison had a fever of 102°F the next day and was ordered to stay in bed, so Neil Aspinall replaced him for the first television rehearsal.
Their first live American television appearance was on the The Ed Sullivan Show on 9 February 1964. The next morning practically every newspaper wrote that The Beatles were nothing more than a "fad", and "could not carry a tune across the Atlantic". Their first American concert appearance was at Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C. on 11 February 1964.[