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Sir Ringo Starr has become the first Beatle to launch an NFT collection, including an animated artwork set to a drum recording.
The rock star, 81, will auction five pieces online each with a starting bid of $1,000 (£800) in a collection called The Creative Mind of a Beatle.
The collectible pieces feature moving artworks with an accompanying drum record specially composed and performed by Sir Ringo.
Buyers of the virtual art gain a certificate guaranteeing ownership. The certificates are known as “non-fungible tokens”, or NFTs, and are authenticated via the blockchain, a digital ledger technology that powers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
“I only ever wanted to be a drummer, yet you never know where a new idea or path will lead you,” said the former Beatle.
“This new technology is so far out, it’s inspired me and I loved creating these NFTs combining my art and my music. Who’d have thought I would be spreading Peace and Love in the MetaVerse?”
NFTs have proved to be big money in the art world. In March 2021, a virtual collage fetched $69 million (£55 million) after being auctioned at Christie’s.
Overall, sales of NFT art rocketed to an estimated $25 billion (£19 billion) last year, according to Knight Frank’s annual wealth report, representing almost one third of the global art market.
They have been endorsed by celebrities including Paris Hilton and Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as footballers such as Paul Pogba, John Terry and Michael Owen.
Sir Ringo’s pieces – Galaxy One, Galaxy Two, Bandana Man, Starr Art and Crash – will include short animated videos featuring his drumming.
Darren Julien, the chief executive officer of Julien’s Auctions, based in California, said that Sir Ringo was an “innovative auction legend”.
He said: “It has been our distinguished honour and privilege to represent the incomparable Ringo Starr in his auctions and our Beatles auctions these past years, which have achieved world records at Julien’s.”
Back in January, Julian Lennon, the son of John Lennon, held an NFT auction of some of the late Beatle’s personal items.
In a statement, Julian Lennon described the sale of Beatles memorabilia that does not exist in the real world as a “unique way to continue dad’s legacy”.
Julien’s, which is hosting the sale online, broke world records when it sold John Lennon’s acoustic guitar for $2.4 million (£1.9 million).
The auction house also sold Sir Ringo’s Ludwig drum kit for a record $2.2 million (£1.7 million).