Yoko Ono to receive songwriting credit for "Imagine"

Artist Yoko Ono listens through an earpiece before she was honored as an "illustrious visitor" by Mexico City's Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera at Mexico City's town hall on Feb. 3, 2016.

Reuters

Yoko Ono is finally getting the recognition she deserves for collaborating with late husband John Lennon on "Imagine" -- 40 years after the iconic song was released.

The change was announced Wednesday at an annual meeting of the National Music Publishers Association in New York, where a clip of Lennon was played in which he said the song "should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song."

"A lot of it -- the lyric and concept -- came from Yoko," the clip continued. "But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of 'Grapefruit,' her book. There's a whole pile of pieces about 'Imagine this' and 'Imagine that.'"

Ono was on hand at the meeting along with her son, Sean Ono Lennon, to received a song of the century award for "Imagine," though the co-writing honor was a surprise for them.

"When they officially acknowledged -- through my father's account -- that my mother co-wrote 'Imagine,' the song of the century, it may have been the happiest day of mine and [my] mother's life," Sean told Billboard magazine via text message.

Patti Smith then performed a rendition of the song, accompanied by her daughter on piano.