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Beatles Producer George Martin Dies at 90

The legendary producer was often called "The Fifth Beatle"

Liam Mathews

George Martin, the music producer who was known as "the Fifth Beatle," died Tuesday at his home in London. He was 90.

Martin signed the Beatles to their first recording contract in 1962, and his formal musical training and expertise with music technology played an integral role in shaping the many sounds of the most important rock band of the 20th century. He was involved in each of the group's original albums. "George Martin made us what we were in the studio," John Lennon told Rolling Stonein 1971, after the Beatles broke up. "He helped us develop a language to talk to other musicians."

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr broke the news of Martin's death on Twitter.

"From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I've ever had the pleasure to know," Paul McCartney wrote in a statement on his website.

In addition to the Beatles, Martin worked with other artists including Jeff Beck, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Cheap Trick and Elton John. He also composed and produced several film scores. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1964 for the score to A Hard Day's Night, and won several Grammy Awards for albums including Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Who's Tommy. Martin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1996.

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He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Judy, and children Giles, Alexis, Gregory and Lucy.