Michael bought Lennon piano

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The bidder who paid £1.45m for the piano on which John Lennon composed "Imagine" was George Michael. The star, now among Britain's most respected singer-songwriters, was believed to have fought off competition from other well-known names in music to buy the historic Steinway.

The bidder who paid £1.45m for the piano on which John Lennon composed "Imagine" was George Michael. The star, now among Britain's most respected singer-songwriters, was believed to have fought off competition from other well-known names in music to buy the historic Steinway.

As the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool "waited with bated breath" to see whether it would be returned to them, a spokesman for the 37-year-old singer yesterday confirmed the instrument would remain in the country. "He's just so excited to have got it at the moment that we don't know what will happen to it," he said.

"He feels it's a piece of history. He was at the end of the phone line during the auction and had a friend there for him."

Lennon, who would have turned 60 last week, bought the Model Z upright from a Hamburg manufacturer in December 1970 and had it delivered to his Ascot Sound Studios.

There is a film of the former Beatle playing "Imagine" for the first time to Yoko Ono.

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