Rick Rubin Pays Tribute to 'Inspiration' George Martin

Beatles producer was "the best of all time," Rubin says

Producer Rick Rubin pays tribute to his "inspiration" George Martin, calling him the "best of all time" Credit: Photo Courtesy of Universal Music Group, Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage/Getty

Producer Rick Rubin has penned a tribute to George Martin, the Beatles producer who died Tuesday at age 90.

"George was the zenith of the mountaintop," he tells Rolling Stone. "He continues to be the inspiration for those of us striving to make timeless music. And he was as tasteful and fine of a man as he was an arranger and producer. The best of all time."

Ringo Starr announced Martin's death Tuesday night on Twitter. "God bless George Martin," he wrote. "Peace and love … George will be missed." In another post, accompanied by a photo of Martin with the Beatles, the drummer wrote, "Thank you for all your love and kindness."

From 1962, when he offered the Beatles their first contract, until the final sessions of Abbey Road, Martin was, with rare exception, the group's go-to producer. He continued to work with the individual band members on their solo works in the years after the band broke up and, most recently, worked on Love, a Cirque du Soleil presentation of the Beatles' music. Paul McCartney said Martin was "like a second father" to him in a statement.

Elton John, who collaborated with Martin on his Grammy-winning and record-breaking reworking of "Candle in the Wind" in 1997, called the producer "delightful" and "brilliant." "It is the end of a wonderful era," he wrote in a statement. "I had the privilege to have known him as a friend and work with him as an artist."

Rubin has produced hit albums by a diverse array of artists, spanning rap, country and rock. He worked with Ringo Starr in 1994 when the Beatles drummer guested on "To Find a Friend," a track on Tom Petty's solo album, Wildflowers.