John Lennon’s Son Julian Reveals Why He Legally Changed His Name & Finally Sang ‘Imagine’

Two years after Julian Lennon changes his name to ‘respect’ his father’s ‘legacy,’ the son of John Lennon revealed the rationale behind the move.

Reading Time: 3 minutes
View gallery
Image Credit: David Fisher/Shutterstock

During the fracas and chaos of 2020, Julian Lennon officially changed his name – and not many people may have noticed. “It was in 2020, just before we all got locked in a cage that I finally actually decided to legally change my name by default,” Julian, the 59-year-old singer-songwriter said on the July 13 episode of the Word in Your Ear podcast. The son of the late John Lennon said that he changed his name – to Julian Lennon. “Originally, my name was ‘John Charles Julian Lennon,’” he said, “and the crap that I had to deal with when traveling and security companies and this and that and the other.”

“Whenever you had to present yourself, especially on like boarding passes, just as an example, you know they only use your first name, and so it would always be ‘John Lennon, John Lennon,” he continued (h/t PEOPLE.) “So, I became quite fearful and anxious about those scenarios, because there would always be wisecracks or jokes, and most of the time people didn’t even recognize me. So it became really uncomfortable over the years because I’ve always been known as Julian and so it never felt like it was me. So finally I just decided in 2020, ‘Yeah, I wanna be me now. This is it, it’s time for a change.’”

Julian Lennon at the 2022 amfAR gala (David Fisher/Shutterstock

The move wasn’t by any means a way for him to slight his father or his mother, Cynthia Powell. “I want to respect the legacy and the wishes of my parents, but all I did was switch the ‘John’ and ‘Julian’ so I’m Julian Charles John Lennon,” he added. “It’s as simple as that, but for me, it’s a whole other world, it really is. Not that I’m ashamed or have disrespect. I needed to be me. I needed to finally be heard as Julian. This is what Julian does, not ‘John’s son,’ so that has been a part of the path, and…it just made sense for me.”

(David Magnus/Shutterstock)

Julian has been on a path of making peace with his father’s legacy and the impact it had on his own life. In April, Julian – who had a top 10 hit in 1984 with “Too Late For Goodbyes” – performed “Imagine” for the first time in April at Global Citizen’s Stand Up for Ukraine benefit concert. Julian, in the description of the YouTube video of his performance, wrote that “the only time I would ever consider singing ‘IMAGINE’ would be if it was the End of the World.”

The positive response to the performance shifted Julian’s perspective on being John Lennon’s son. “I feel, probably for the first time ever, that I can walk around not being afraid with my head held high,” he said in an interview with the iHeartRadio podcast Inside the Studio (h/t PEOPLE). ” I think I’ve laid my foundation on many levels of what I do and I’m proud to be doing everything that I’m doing now. So it’s a different world, you know? I’m feeling like maybe just a little bit of an adult now… It’s been magical. It’s been magical probably for the first time ever.”