Beatles photographer Astrid Kirchherr has died, aged 81

She was instrumental in the band's early rise to fame

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Photographer Astrid Kirchherr, whose images of The Beatles helped to create their legend, has died aged 81.

The Hamburg-born photographer saw The Beatles playing in a local club along with then-boyfriend Klaus Voormann, and quickly became part of their circle. She took the band’s first proper photos (as a five-piece) in 1960 and helped to style them, encouraging them to adopt their distinctive moptop haircuts.

She became engaged to original Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe and was with him when he died of a brain haemorrhage in 1962. Kirchherr remained close to the band, and took behind-the-scenes photos on A Hard Day’s Night, as well as the cover image for George Harrison’s first solo album, 1968’s Wonderwall Music.

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