Richard Starkey, MBE (born 7 July 1940) better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles' drummer in August 1962, taking the place of Pete Best. In addition to his contribution as drummer, Starr featured as lead vocals on a number of successful Beatles songs (in particular, "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Yellow Submarine", and The Beatles version of "Act Naturally"), as co-writer with the song "What Goes On" and primary writer with "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus's Garden".
As drummer for The Beatles, Starr was musically creative, and his contribution to the band's music has received high praise from notable drummers in more recent times. Starr described himself as "your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills", technically limited by being a left-handed person playing a right-handed kit. Drummer Steve Smith said that Starr's popularity "brought forth a new paradigm" where "we started to see the drummer as an equal participant in the compositional aspect" and that Starr "composed unique, stylistic drum parts for The Beatles songs". In 2011, Starr was picked as the fifth-best drummer of all-time by Rolling Stone readers, behind drummers such as John Bonham, Keith Moon and Neil Peart.
Starr is the most documented and critically acclaimed actor-Beatle, playing a central role in several Beatles films, and appearing in numerous other movies, both during and after his career with The Beatles. After The Beatles' break-up in 1970, Starr achieved solo musical success with several singles and albums, and recorded with each of his fellow ex-Beatles as they too developed their post-Beatle musical careers. He has also been featured in a number of TV documentaries, hosted TV shows, narrated the first two series of the children's television series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and portrayed "Mr. Conductor" during the first season of the PBS children's television series Shining Time Station. He currently tours with the All-Star Band.
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