Lucy Vodden

Alison McDougall/Daily Mail

Lucy Vodden

LONDON (AP) — Lucy Vodden, who provided the inspiration for the Beatles’ classic song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” has died after a long battle with lupus. She was 46.

Her death was announced Monday by St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, where she had been treated for the chronic disease for more than five years, and by her husband, Ross Vodden. Britain’s Press Association said she died last Tuesday. Hospital officials said they could not confirm the day of her death.

Vodden’s connection to the Beatles dates back to her early days, when she made friends with schoolmate Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s son.

Julian Lennon, then 4 years old, came home from school with a drawing one day, showed it to his father, and said it was “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”

At the time, John Lennon was gathering material for his contributions to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” a landmark album released to worldwide acclaim in 1967.

The elder Lennon seized on the image and developed it into what is widely regarded as a psychedelic masterpiece, replete with haunting images of “newspaper taxis” and a “girl with kaleidoscope eyes.”

Rock music critics thought the song’s title was a veiled reference to LSD, but John Lennon always claimed the phrase came from his son, not from a desire to spell out the initials LSD in code.

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