Beatles hitmaker John Lennon became a dad to two sons years before his death in 1980: Julian Lennon and Sean Lennon. And while Julian, the elder of the two, has built an incredible music career of his own, he decided to take one huge step amid the COVID-19 pandemic — changing his name. 

“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,” the songwriter said during a July 2022 episode of the “Word in Your Ear” podcast. “Because originally my name was John Charles Julian Lennon, and the crap that I had to deal with when traveling and security companies and this and that and the other.”

Julian Lennon Name Change: Real Reason He Changed Name
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Julian, born in 1963 to John and his first wife, Cynthia Lennon, confessed that he grew tired of constantly explaining himself at airports and public events. Being named after his father, one of the most influential artists in rock ‘n’ roll history, was a lot to deal with in the public gaze. 

“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,'” the “Too Late for Goodbyes” crooner shared. 

He went on to say that those instances made him “fearful” and “anxious” after constantly being the subject of “wisecracks or jokes.” The Cannes Man actor explained that most of the time, people did not recognize him as John’s son. However, he and Sean, born in 1975 to John and his second wife, Yoko Ono, have worked hard to establish themselves in the music industry. 

“So, it became really uncomfortable over the years because I’ve always been known as Julian and so it [being called John] never felt like it was me,” he admitted. “So finally, I just decided in 2020, ‘Yeah, I want to be me now. This is it, it’s time for a change.'”

Cynthia died in 2015 at the age of 75 and was a big influence in the Beatlemania movement. She penned several memoirs about her experience in the spotlight in her later years. While Julian did officially change his moniker, his intention is still to carry on the incredible legacy his parents left behind. 

“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.”