The Least Popular Member Of The Beatles Might Surprise You

Love them or hate them, The Beatles are an iconic, artistic fixture unmatched by any artist of the 20th century — and, honestly, how could you hate them? The band hailing from Liverpool, England, was a pioneering musical act and its influence is still being felt long after its members parted ways in 1970. Beatlemania swept the world as the Fab Four —George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon — led the British Invasion into the United States, paving the way for a bevy of fellow UK artists to find success outside of their homelands. During their time as a band, The Beatles spawned 20 No. 1 hits, as Newsweek reported, alongside a bevy of classic B-sides, which continue to be covered by artists to this day.

So, when discussing a band as popular as The Beatles, it's reasonable to ask which member is the favorite among the band's fans. And, by that same token, it's fair to wonder which band member is the least favorite. While we may all live in a yellow submarine, apparently not all Beatles are created equally. Looper surveyed 688 readers across the U.S., asking them which member of The Beatles is their least favorite; more than one third of them gave us the same response.

Ringo Starr is the least popular Beatle among those surveyed

According to Looper's survey respondents, Ringo Starr is the least popular member of The Beatles. A whopping 36.5% of those surveyed selected the drummer — who was born Richard Starkey — as their least favorite. Starr, who got the job in 1962, was the last member of The Beatles to join the legendary quartet; the three other members of the band had been together for four years prior and employed multiple drummers in the time prior, according to "The Complete Beatles Chronicle." In a comedy routine about drugs and rock music, legendary comedian Bill Hicks once posited that "The Beatles were so f***king high they let Ringo sing a few tunes," perhaps illustrating the reasoning behind his selection.

With 24.5% of the vote, Beatles guitarist and vocalist George Harrison is the second-least popular member of the band among those surveyed. He had auditioned for Lennon in the early months of 1958 and impressed him — the problem was, he was only 14 years old at the time and Lennon thought he was too young, according to Barry Miles' biography, "Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now."

Which member of The Beatles received the fewest votes?

Coming in just behind George Harrison is guitarist and singer John Lennon with 22.7% of respondents choosing him as their least favorite member of The Beatles. Lennon was initially considered the leader of the band, having formed a folk group called the Quarrymen in 1956, according to "The John Lennon Encyclopedia." Paul McCartney saw the Quarrymen's second show, according to "The Beatles Biography," at which point Lennon asked him to join the band. Lennon's relationship with his second wife, Yoko Ono, is popularly held as one of the reasons The Beatles broke up in 1970.

The de facto most popular member of The Beatles — with 16% of respondents choosing him as their least favorite — is singer and guitarist Paul McCartney. McCartney stepped up to take the role as the band's unofficial leader after the death of Beatles manager Brian Epstein in 1967, according to "The Words and Music of Paul McCartney."  Following the band's 1970 split, McCartney has arguably enjoyed the greatest success as a solo artist and founder of the band Wings. According to his official website, McCartney toured as recently as July 2019, almost a month after turning 77 years old.