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"He inspired love and had the strength of a hundred men. He was like the sun, the flowers and the moon, and we will miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him."
—--Bob Dylan

WORLD GENTLY WEEPS ON

Harrison's Ashes Scattered on Ganges, All Things Must Pass Finds New Admirers
The pop world continued to mourn the passing last week of George Harrison, the Beatles' soft-spoken, yet biting lead guitarist and spiritual explorer, who died at 58, after a long battle with various forms of cancer, at a friend's home in L.A.

"He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death and at peace, surrounded by family and friends," read a statement released by his immediate family. "He often said, Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait.'"

Harrison was reportedly cremated within hours after his death. His ashes were scattered in the holy Ganges River where it converged with two other rivers, corresponding to a moment of silence which occurred today at 4:30 pm (ET), which was early Tuesday morning in India.

Record sales for Harrison's biggest seller, the three-CD All Things Must Pass, have catapulted since the musician's death last week. The album, re-released in January by Capitol, was #1 at Amazon.com and selling briskly in the U.S. and U.K. among talk that "My Sweet Lord" may be re-released before Christmas.

Tributes continued to pour in from colleagues and industry execs who worked with George.

Bob Dylan, a frequent collaborator, said: "George was a giant, a great, great soul with all of the humanity, all of the wit and humor, all of the wisdom, the spirituality, the common sense of a man and compassion for people. He inspired love and had the strength of a hundred men. He was like the sun, the flowers and the moon, and we will miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him."

Then-WB VP of Pop Promotion, now head of promotion for Extasy Records International, Stu Cohen remembers when George took the company's staff out to lunch to celebrate "Cloud Nine" and its hit single, "Got My Mind Set On You," topping the charts. "He was just so down-to-earth, sweet and kind, but incredibly intelligent and a practical joker. When he gave me my Platinum album, he autographed it to my daughter Elizabeth, who was just born at the time. He was just thrilled to be appreciated by his fans and the label."

Added then-WB head, now DreamWorks Records co-head Mo Ostin: "George was a true artist, the rare creative talent whose work—both with The Beatles and as a solo artist—will be counted among the greatest recordings of all time. George was also a fabulous human being. His social and spiritual beliefs, as well as his music, affected all our lives. He helped change the world for the better."

At the time of his death, George was reportedly secretly working on a new album, tentatively titled "Portrait of a Leg End." He had just finished cutting the vocals for "Horse to the Water," a song about his medical problems written with son Dhani for , Small World Big Band, the album by ex-Squeeze keyboardist and U.K. TV personality Jools Holland's Rhythm & Blue Orchestra. The record came out last week in the U.K., debuting at #20. Harrison also worked with ex-Traffic member Jim Capaldi on a song called "Anna Julia," which is a single from Capaldi's album "Living on the Outside," recorded for German label SPV.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair told reporters: "We grew up with the Beatles. Their music and their personalities were the background to our lives."

Others, like WB's Jeff Ayeroff, who worked with the band as a consultant on their successful 1 compilation for Capitol, appreciated the smaller things. "The fact that he drove around L.A. in a hot rod always impressed me."

Younger musicians, meanwhile, looked to the late Beatle as both a personal and a professional inspiration. "I've been thinking about George a lot for the past few months ever since I heard that he was getting very ill," Dan Wilson of Semisonic related to HITS. "I love his music and his example. He was always the questioner, always the searcher, his music took me along on his spiritual quest. I have always found that inspiring and somehow his doubt gave me strength. 'What is Life?' is running through my head right now."

Added Dan Benson, KFOG/San Francisco PD: "George showed us all that it was possible to become a human being after being a Beatle. He transcended the myth and died with a dignity that we can all admire."

Check out hitsdailydouble.com later this week for a George-related remembrance by our own Bud Scoppa.

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