Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney, is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He gained worldwide fame as the bass guitarist and singer for the rock band the Beatles, widely considered the most popular and influential group in the history of pop music. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon was the most successful of the post-war era. After the group disbanded in 1970, he pursued a solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine. 

McCartney is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. More than 2,200 artists have covered his Beatles song 'Yesterday', making it one of the most covered songs in popular music history. Wings' 1977 release 'Mull of Kintyre' is one of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK. A two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of the Beatles in 1988, and as a solo artist in 1999), and an 18-time Grammy Award winner, McCartney has written, or co-written, 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2009 he has 25.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all received appointment as Members of the Order of the British Empire in 1965 and, in 1997, McCartney was knighted for services to music. McCartney is also one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$1.2 billion.

McCartney has released an extensive catalogue of songs as a solo artist and has composed classical and electronic music. He has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines , vegetarianism, poverty, and music education. He has married three times and is the father of five children.

Encouraged by his father to try out multiple musical instruments, Paul McCartney began his lifelong love affair with music at an early age. Though he took formal music lessons as a boy, the future star preferred to learn by ear, teaching himself the Spanish guitar, trumpet and piano. By age 16, he had already written 'When I'm Sixty-Four', in hopes of eventually selling it to  Frank Sinatra. In 1957, he met John Lennon at a church festival where Lennon's band, the Quarrymen, were performing, and was soon invited to become a member. The two quickly became the group's songwriters, ushering it through many name changes and a few personnel changes as well. Early on, they agreed that all of their songs would be credited to Lennon-McCartney, no matter who had taken lead or, as happened occasionally, written the songs entirely on their own.

The Beatles

By 1960, the group had settled on a new moniker, the Beatles, and George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best rounded out the line-up. They became regular fixtures at Liverpool's Cavern Club, frequently pulling in over 500 people to see them in the 200-person capacity club. Their local fame earned them an offer to play in Hamburg, and off they went, spending the next three years honing their touring skills, drinking, carousing, and occasionally getting into trouble with the law. While there, Sutcliffe fell in love with local Astrid Kirchherr, an artist and photographer who helped create the Beatles' look, influencing their wardrobe and cutting and styling their hair. Sutclliffe left the band, moved in with Astrid, and McCartney was finally free to take over the bass, a position he had been lobbying for. 

While in Hamburg, the Beatles recorded their first tracks, garnering the attention of Brian Epstein, a music columnist who managed his family's record store. He went to see them perform, knew star power when he saw it, and offered to manage them. McCartney missed their first meeting with him, as he had decided to take a bath instead, but eventually they all connected and a partnership was born. Epstein refined their look and their onstage performance, and worked himself to the bone trying to get them a record deal. When producer George Martin signed them to EMI, they had to do one thing: replace their drummer. They ultimately settled on Ringo Starr, already popular thanks to his work with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Best's fans protested, swearing they'd never listen to The Beatles again, but the furor soon faded away as the group became increasingly popular.

The impact that the Beatles would ultimately have on '60s popular culture is hard to overstate. 'Beatlemania' soon gripped the world, and when the group made their debut in America, the media dubbed the period of musical crossover between the two nations the 'British Invasion'. This era would have a lasting impact on rock 'n' roll.

During a decade full of political and social strife, the Beatles expressed the broader hopes of their contemporaries for peace, love and rock 'n' roll with a little rebellion sprinkled in, in the form of British 'cheek'. McCartney would write more hits for the band than any other member. Songs like 'Yesterday', 'Hey Jude', 'Let It Be', and 'Hello, Goodbye' would provide the soundtrack for a generation, with “Yesterday” still the most covered Beatles song of all time.

From 1962 to 1970, The Beatles released 12 studio albums. They toured constantly until 1966, playing their final show at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 29th. They couldn't hear themselves over the roar of hysterical fans, and their music had become more complex, making it harder and harder to reproduce the sound without benefit of the studio.

McCartney has released an extensive catalogue of songs as a solo artist and has composed classical and electronic music. He has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education. He has married three times and is the father of five children.

Solo Career

The Beatles disbanded in 1970, breaking fans' hearts worldwide. However, McCartney had no intention of dropping out of the public eye. He was the first of the Beatles to release a solo album (McCartney, 1970), and though critics' reactions were mixed, the album was a hit with the public. Encouraged, McCartney went on to form Wings, a band that would remain popular throughout the '70s, winning two Grammy Awards and churning out multiple hit singles.

In 1969, McCartney had married Linda Eastman, an American photographer who would serve as her husband's muse for the next 30 years. The family had four children: Heather (Eastman's daughter from a previous marriage), Mary, Stella and James. They all moved into McCartney's farm in Scotland, with McCartney often doing some of the renovation work himself. One day they were rubbing elbows with superstars and politicians, the next they were back on their rustic farm.

The 1980s proved a trying time for McCartney. An arrest for marijuana possession in Japan in January put him in jail for nine days. Later that year, his longtime partner and friend John Lennon, with whom he had recently reconciled after years of feuding, was killed outside his New York City apartment. In the wake of Lennon's death, McCartney stopped touring, not taking it up again for almost a decade. He continued to play and record new music, however, collaborating with the likes of Stevie Wonder and  Michael Jackson and still having massive commercial success. By 1989, he was ready to perform live again, and launched a world tour, one that would provide material for a triple live album. 

Paul McCartney is pop music royalty. For his contributions to global rock 'n' roll culture, he has been knighted, named a fellow at the Royal College of Music, was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, among multitudes of other honors. In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded him the Gershwin Prize, the highest award a musician can receive in America. McCartney was the first non-American to receive this honor. Two years later, he was named the MusiCares Person of the Year in honor of his artistic achievement and dedication to philanthropy.

Personal Life

Tragedy struck in 1998, when McCartney's wife of 29 years, Linda McCartney, died after a long battle with cancer. Four years later, the musician married Heather Mills, a former model and activist. They welcomed a daughter, Beatrice, in 2003. Amid much tabloid scrutiny and intense animosity, McCartney and Mills parted ways in 2006. He married for the third time, to New York businesswoman Nancy Shevell, in October 2011, in London.

McCartney's interests extend far beyond music; the former Beatle has explored filmmaking, writing, painting, meditation and activism. A longtime vegetarian, he teamed up with daughters Mary and Stella in 2009 to launch Meat Free Monday, a not-for-profit campaign that aims to raise awareness about the detrimental impact of meat consumption on individual health as well as the environment. Paul, as was John Lennon was very inspired by Elvis Presley.

Paul McCartney Pays Tribute To Elvis Presley

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