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Sir Paul McCartney is a key figure in contemporary culture as a singer, composer, poet, writer, artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and holder of more than 3 thousand copyrights. With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as the bassist of British rock band the Beatles. Sir Paul McCartney has been described by Guinness World Records as "The Most Successful Composer and Recording Artist of All Time."
James Paul McCartney was born on June 18, 1942, in Walton Hospital, Liverpool, England, where his mother, Mary Patricia (née Mohin), had qualified to practice as a nurse. His father, James ("Jim") McCartney, was absent from his son's birth due to his work as a volunteer firefighter during World War II. McCartney has one younger brother named Michael.
McCartney attended Stockton Wood Road Primary School in Speke from 1947 until 1949 when he transferred to Joseph Williams Junior School in Belle Vale because of overcrowding at Stockton. In 1953, with only three others out of ninety examinees, he passed the 11-Plus exam, meaning he could attend the Liverpool Institute, a grammar school rather than a secondary modern school. In 1954, he met schoolmate George Harrison on the bus from his suburban home in Speke. The two quickly became friends.
In 2008 paul was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University.
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.
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 Beatlles 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.
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.
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. The tour also gave him a world’s record when he performed for the largest paying stadium audience in history: a concert for 184,000 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also started a collaboration with Elvis Costello, and they each released albums featuring different tracks they had written together.
In the early '90s, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society commissioned McCartney to compose an orchestral piece. The result was “Liverpool Oratorio,” which hit #1 on the UK classical chart. In 1994, he took four years away from his solo career to work with former bandmates Harrison and Starr on The Beatles Anthology project, then released a rock album in 1997 as well as a classical album. The following year, Linda died of cancer after a long illness.
In September of 2001, he watched the attack on New York City from the tarmac at JFK Airport, then became one of the organizers for The Concert for New York City. He continued recording and performing live around the world, with his 2002 tour being named the top tour of the year by Billboard magazine.
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 headlined 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. That same year, he 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 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 later performed at "Desert Trip" in the fall, with a line-up that included Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Roger Waters, The Rolling Stones and The Who.
In June 2018, two days after his 76th birthday, McCartney released two new songs, the ballad "I Don't Know" and the more upbeat "Come On To Me." The tracks were part of an upcoming solo album, Egypt Station, to be unveiled on September 7.
Paul was baptized a Catholic, but dabbled in everything from Hinduism to atheism in his day.
In terms of American politics, McCartney has been a supporter of Obama and has slammed Bush, saying: "It’s nice to have a president who knows what a library is."
Paul McCartney was an animal-rights activist, vegetarian, and anti-landmine activist. Created Paul and Linda McCartney charity foundation and several other charities. He donated millions to humanitarian causes across the world, and has been involved in charity recordings and concert performances.
"I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn't weird at all and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird."
"In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
"Nothing pleases me more than to go into a room and come out with a piece of music."
"It was Elvis who really got me hooked on beat music. When I heard 'Heartbreak Hotel' I thought, this is it."
"Think globally, act locally."
Paul has dark brown hair and brown eyes. He is about 5' 11" and weighs about 160 pounds.
Quotes from others about the person
John Lennon: "I can't speak for George, but I pretty damn well know we got fed up of being sidemen for Paul."
Bob Dylan: "I'm in awe of McCartney. He's about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all. And he's never let up ... He's just so damn effortless!"
James McCartney: "... someone who's beyond genius."
Freedy Johnston: "... the most sophisticated pop musician that I knew of and liked was Paul McCartney."
Geoff Emerick: "Paul, to me, has always been 'the musician' and the one that, for want of a better phrase - was the 'musician's musician'. I mean, Paul was a good drummer, good guitarist, good keyboard player and he sort of held the band, and brought them to that, sort of, perfection."
meditation, painting, writing, poetry
Music & Bands
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.
In July 2002, McCartney married Heather Mills. They separated in April 2006 and divorced acrimoniously in March 2008.
McCartney married New Yorker Nancy Shevell in a civil ceremony at Old Marylebone Town Hall, London, on 9 October 2011.