Music producer Sir George Martin, best known for his work with the Beatles, died late Tuesday at the age of 90.
Martin's death was confirmed on Twitter by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. His management said in an e-mail to the Associated Press that Martin had "passed away peacefully at home".
God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara George will be missed xxx ��✌️����☮
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) March 9, 2016
Martin had been dubbed "The Fifth Beatle" for his work with the legendary rock band. He signed the Beatles to EMI's Parlophone record label in 1962 and went on to produce some of the most popular and influential albums of modern times -- "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Revolver," "Rubber Soul," "Abbey Road". Along the way, Martin and the Beatles elevated rock LPs from ways to cash in on hit singles to art forms, "concepts."
Martin later recalled meeting the quartet for the first time and realizing their potential, saying "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 songwriting ability.
"As composers, they didn't rate. They hadn't shown me that they could write anything at all," he once told the magazine Melody Maker. "'Love Me Do' I thought was pretty poor, but it was the best we could do."
Martin both witnessed and enabled the extraordinary changes of the Beatles and of the 1960s. From a raw first album that took just a day to make, to the months-long production of "Sgt. Pepper," the Beatles advanced by quantum steps as songwriters and sonic explorers, turning the studio into a wonderland of tape loops, multi-tracking, unpredictable tempos, unfathomable segues and kaleidoscopic montages.
"Once we got beyond the bubblegum stage, the early recordings, and they wanted to do something more adventurous, they were saying, `What can you give us?"' Martin told The Associated Press in 2002. "And I said, `I can give you anything you like."'
Martin was endlessly called on to perform the impossible, and often succeeded, splicing recordings at different speeds for "Strawberry Fields Forever" or, for "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," simulating a calliope with keyboards, harmonica and a harmonium that the producer himself played with such intensity he passed out on the floor. Martin would have several good turns on the keyboards, performing a lively music hall solo on McCartney's "Lovely Rita" and a speeded-up Baroque reverie on Lennon's "In My Life."
After the group broke up, he started his own music publishing company, George Martin Music, and worked with a number of artists, including Jeff Beck, Bob Dylan, Sting and Sir Elton John. He also produced two of Paul McCartney's solo albums, "Tug Of War" and "Pipes Of Peace". He won six Grammys and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996. Three years later, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He co-produced "Candle In The Wind," which was released to mark the death of Princess Diana in 1997. The song, which Elton John performed at Diana's funeral, sold 37 million copies, and was the last chart-topping hit Martin ever produced.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.