Starr released the album Liverpool 8 in January 2008, coinciding with the start of Liverpool's year as the European Capital of Culture. Hudson was the initial producer of the recordings, but after a falling out with Starr, he was replaced by David A. Stewart. Starr performed the title track at the opening ceremony for Liverpool's appointment, but thereafter attracted controversy over his seemingly unflattering comments about his city of birth. Later that year, he was the object of further criticism in the press for posting a video on his website in which he harangued fans and autograph hunters for sending him items to sign.
In April 2009, he reunited with McCartney at the David Lynch Foundation's "Change Begins Within" benefit concert, held at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Having played his own set beforehand, Starr joined McCartney for the finale and performed "With a Little Help from My Friends", among other songs. Starr also appeared on-stage during Microsoft's June 2009 E3 press conference with Yoko Ono, McCartney and Olivia Harrison to promote The Beatles: Rock Band video game. In November 2009, he once again performed the voice of Thomas the Tank Engine for "The Official BBC Children in Need Medley".
In 2010 Starr self-produced and released his fifteenth studio album, Y Not, which included the track "Walk with You" and featured a vocal contribution from McCartney. Later that year, he appeared during Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief as a celebrity phone operator. On 7 July 2010, he celebrated his 70th birthday at Radio City Music Hall with another All-Starr Band concert, topped with friends and family joining him on stage including Ono, his son Zak, and McCartney.