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Paul McCartney - Singer Songwriter, Musician, Producer, Businessman ~ Biography

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 18: Paul McCartney performs an impromptu Gig In Covent Garden on October 18, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Moss/FilmMagic)

Paul McCartney is a former member of the Beatles and one of the most popular solo performers of all time.


Paul McCartney was born June 18, 1942, in Liverpool, England. His work as a singer/songwriter with the Beatles in the 1960s helped transform popular music into a creative, highly commercial art form. He is also one of the most popular solo performers of all time in terms of both sales of his recordings and attendance at his concerts.

Early Life

Sir James Paul McCartney was born on June 18, 1942, in Liverpool, England, to Mary and James McCartney. His mother was a maternity nurse, and his father a cotton salesman and jazz pianist with a local band. The young McCartney was raised in a traditional working-class family, much the same as his future fellow Beatles Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Tragically, when McCartney was only 14 years old, his mother died of complications after a mastectomy. His future bandmate, John Lennon, also lost his mother at a young age—a connection that McCartney would later point to as the start of a close bond between the two musicians.

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. In 1957, the teenaged musician met John Lennon at a church festival where both young men were performing. Sensing an early affinity, McCartney joined Lennon’s band, the Quarrymen. The two quickly became the group’s songwriters, ushering it through many name changes and a few personnel changes as well.

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 group. The soon-to-be legendary “mod squad” started out in the 1960s in Hamburg, Germany, spending two years playing various nightclubs there. Sutcliffe soon left the band, leaving McCartney to pick up the slack as the group’s bass player. While in Hamburg, the Beatles recorded their first tracks, garnering the attention of Brian Epstein, who quickly signed on as the band’s manager. It wasn’t long before the Beatles headed back to their home country and began working their way into the popular consciousness there. And Best’s replacement by drummer Ringo Starr only helped the group gain popularity.

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 truly 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. McCartney in particular would write more hits for the band than any other member. Songs like “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be,” “Yellow Submarine” and “Hello, Goodbye” would provide the soundtrack for a generation. From 1962 to ’70, the group released 12 hit studio albums, touring almost constantly, before disbanding.

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 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 (Linda’s daughter from a previous marriage), Mary, Stella and James.

The 1980s proved a trying time for McCartney. An arrest for marijuana possession in Japan in 1980 was followed shortly by the devastating assassination of his longtime partner and friend, John Lennon. In the wake of Lennon’s death, McCartney stopped touring until 1989. He continued to play and record new music, however, collaborating with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. In the ’90s, McCartney worked with former bandmates Harrison and Starr on The Beatles Anthology documentary series.

In 2012, McCartney released Kisses on the Bottom, which featured renditions of some of his favorite songs from childhood, including classics like “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and “My Valentine.” McCartney made headlines later that year, after performing with fellow rocker Bruce Springsteen at London’s Hyde Park. The two legendary rock musicians even performed two Beatles hits together: “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist and Shout.” Unfortunately, this impressive live jam was cut short by the authorities: When the concert exceeded its scheduled end time, both Springsteen’s and McCartney’s microphones were turned off by event organizers.

McCartney signed on to headline the 2013 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, a four-day event held annually in Manchester, Tennessee. Other performers in the event’s lineup included Tom Petty, Billy Idol, John Oates of Hall & Oates, Jeff Tweedy and Björk. In 2013, he also released his album New, which was executive produced by Giles Martin, the son of longtime Beatles producer Sir George Martin. The next year, McCartney collaborated with Kanye West on the hip hop artist’s single “Only One.” In 2015, they worked together again with singer Rihanna on the hit “FourFiveSeconds.” In March 2016, McCartney announced he would release Pure McCartney, a solo album spanning his legendary career, in June. The prolific superstar kicked off his One on One Tour in April 2016, and hinted on social media that he would also perform at a mega-concert in the Fall of 2016 with fellow rock legends including Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters.

McCartney is inarguably 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, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, among various other honors.

He will also appear on the big screen in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), starring Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem.

Solo Albums
McCartney (1970)
Ram (1971) (Paul & Linda McCartney)
McCartney II (1980)
Tug of War (1982)
Pipes of Peace (1983)
Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)
Press to Play (1986)
Снова В СССР (1988) (covers album)
Flowers in the Dirt (1989)
Off the Ground (1993)
Flaming Pie (1997)
Run Devil Run (1999) (covers album)
Driving Rain (2001)
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005)
Memory Almost Full (2007)
Kisses on the Bottom (2012) (covers album)
New (2013)

Wild Life (1971)
Red Rose Speedway (1973)
Band on the Run (1973)
Venus and Mars (1975)
Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976)
London Town (1978)
Back to the Egg (1979)
Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio (1991)
(with Carl Davis)
Standing Stone (1997)
Working Classical (1999)
Ecce Cor Meum (2006)
Ocean’s Kingdom (2011)
(dance score with Peter Martins)

Other albums
The Family Way (1966)
(film score with George Martin)
Thrillington (1977)
(Percy “Thrills” Thrillington)
Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (1993)
(the Fireman)
Rushes (1998)
(the Fireman)
Liverpool Sound Collage (2000)
(re-mix album)
Twin Freaks (2005)
(with the Freelance Hellraiser)
Electric Arguments (2008)
(the Fireman)

Awards & Honours
1971 Academy Award winner (as a member of the Beatles)
21-time Grammy Award winner:
12 as a member of the Beatles
Six as a solo artist
Two as a member of Wings
One as part of a joint collaboration
Two-time inductee – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
Class of 1988 as a member of the Beatles
Class of 1999 as a solo artist
Member of the Order of the British Empire.[430][431]
Planet 4148 named “McCartney” (International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center).[432]
1997: Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music.[433]
2000: Fellowship into the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.[434]
2008: BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music
2008: Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University.[435]
2010: Gershwin Prize for his contributions to popular music.[436]
2010: Kennedy Center Honors.[437]
2012: Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[438]
2012: Légion d’Honneur for his services to music.[439]
2012: MusiCares Person of the Year

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distance: 3,694 Miles
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