Sir Ringo Starr spread a message of “peace and love” as he celebrated his 81st birthday.

The beloved former Beatle was joined by friends and family – as well as a limited number of fans – to mark the occasion in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.

Sir Ringo hosted his annual “peace and love” moment while standing beside the shiny steel sculpture of his hand making the peace sign.

At midday local time, the drummer led the crowd in chants of his trademark slogan as well as being serenaded by a chorus of happy birthday.

Sir Ringo launched the event in 2008 and the 2021 running included gatherings around the world in countries such as Argentina, Japan, Italy, Peru, Spain and the UK.

Ringo Starr’s 81st Birthday Celebration
Sir Ringo Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, hosted a ‘peace and love’ event in Beverly Hills to mark the former Beatle’s birthday (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The Liverpool-born rock star, who held a smaller than usual gathering due to the pandemic, said he was proud of the day’s growth.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s what I do, it’s what I do – peace and love. It’s growing and I feel like it’s the pebble in the ocean, you drop it and the waves go out and out and out.

“From 2008, when we did it first time, there was a hundred people just on the street in Chicago and now look at you crowd here and around the world. We have so far 30 countries celebrate peace and love at noon. So it can’t be bad.”

Ringo Starr’s 81st Birthday Celebration
Sir Ringo Starr, centre, turned 81 and shared his annual message of ‘peace and love’ (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Sir Ringo, who was accompanied by his wife of 40 years, Barbara Bach, also revealed Sir Paul McCartney had been in touch with his well-wishes.

“He just called me, we still say ‘hi’ to each other,” he said. Sir Ringo quipped: “I’m still waiting for the gift.”

In his public birthday message, Sir Paul, 79, tweeted: “Happiest of birthdays to my lovely mate @ringostarrmusic… the drum beat of my life! Love, Paul.”

Avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon, shared a photo of her and Sir Ringo together on Twitter and wrote: “Happy Birthday Ringo! Peace and Love. Lots of love, yoko.”

The official Twitter account of the Beatles posted: “Happy Birthday, Ringo! Peace and Love!”