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Sir Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney 2021
Born June 18, 1942; age 82
Occupation Singer, songwriter, musician, record and film producer, businessman
Association with the Beatles Bassist, also played keyboards, guitars, and drums on various songs

Sir James Paul McCartney CH MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter and musician who gained worldwide fame with the Beatles, for whom he played bass guitar and shared primary songwriting and lead vocal duties with John Lennon. One of the most successful composers and performers of all time, McCartney is known for his melodic approach to bass-playing, versatile and wide tenor vocal range, and musical eclecticism, exploring genres ranging from pre–rock and roll pop to classical, ballads, and electronica. His songwriting partnership with Lennon is the most successful in modern music history.

Born in Liverpool, McCartney taught himself piano, guitar, and songwriting as a teenager, having been influenced by his father, a jazz player, and rock and roll performers such as Little Richard and Buddy Holly. He began his career when he joined Lennon's skiffle group, the Quarrymen, in 1957, which eventually evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Sometimes called "the cute Beatle", McCartney later immersed himself in the London avant-garde scene and played a key role in incorporating experimental aesthetics into the Beatles' studio productions. Starting with the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, he gradually became the band's de facto leader, providing creative impetus for most of their music and film projects. Many of his Beatles songs, including "And I Love Her", "Yesterday", "Eleanor Rigby", and "Blackbird", rank among the most covered songs in history. Although primarily a bassist with the Beatles, he played a number of other instruments, including keyboards, guitars, and drums, on various songs.

After he left the Beatles in 1970, he was replaced by Jack Bruce and debuted as a solo artist with the 1970 album McCartney and went on to form the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine. Under McCartney's leadership, Wings became one of the most successful bands of the 1970s. He wrote or co-wrote their US or UK number-one hits, such as "My Love", "Band on the Run", "Listen to What the Man Said", "Silly Love Songs", and "Mull of Kintyre". He resumed his solo career in 1980 and has been touring as a solo artist since 1989. Apart from Wings, his UK or US number-one hits include "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" (with Linda), "Coming Up", "Pipes of Peace", "Ebony and Ivory" (with Stevie Wonder), and "Say Say Say" (with Michael Jackson). Beyond music, he has been involved in projects to promote international charities related to animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education.

McCartney has written or co-written a record 32 songs that have topped the Billboard Hot 100 and, as of 2009, he had sales of 25.5 million RIAA-certified units in the US. His honours include two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1999), an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, 18 Grammy Awards, an appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1965, and a knighthood in 1997 for services to music. As of 2020, he is one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated fortune of £800 million.


Early life

On July 6, 1957, Paul met John Lennon and his band, the Quarrymen, at the St Peter's Church Hall fête in Woolton, when he was fifteen years old. The Quarrymen mixed rock and roll with skiffle, a style of popular music influenced by jazz, blues, and folk. Paul was invited to join the band as a rhythm guitarist soon after, and he developed a close working connection with John. Harrison joined as lead guitarist in 1958, followed by Stuart Sutcliffe, a friend from art school, on bass in 1960. By May 1960, the band had tried several names, including Johnny and the Moondogs, Beatals and the Silver Beetles. In August 1960, they changed their name to the Beatles and hired drummer Pete Best just before a five-show stay in Hamburg.

With The Beatles

Sutcliffe departed the band in 1961, and Paul unwillingly took over as bassist. They recorded professionally for the first time in Hamburg, and were identified as the Beat Brothers, who backed up English vocalist Tony Sheridan on the track "My Bonnie." This drew the attention of Brian Epstein, who went on to be a pivotal factor in their subsequent growth and success. In January 1962, he took over as their manager.

In August, Ringo Starr replaced Best, and the band's first song, "Love Me Do," was released in October, becoming popular in the United Kingdom in 1963 and the United States a year later. The enthusiasm became known as "Beatlemania," and Paul was dubbed the "cute Beatle" by the tabloids at times. Several of their early singles, including "I Saw Her Standing There," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (1963), and "Can't Buy Me Love," (1964) were co-written by Paul and John.

The Beatles released "Yesterday," a Paul composition featuring a string quartet, in August 1965. The song, which was included on the Help! album, was the group's first recorded use of classical music elements as well as their first recording with only one band member. "Yesterday" went on to become one of the most covered songs in the history of popular music. During the recording sessions for the album Rubber Soul later that year, Paul began to overtake John as the band's dominating musical force. Rubber Soul was hailed by critics as a significant step forward in the band's musical and lyrical finesse and profundity.

The Beatles' album Revolver was released in 1966. The album was a creative leap for the Beatles, with complex lyrics, studio experimentation, and a broadened repertory of musical styles ranging from innovative string arrangements to psychedelic rock. The single "Paperback Writer," the first of three consecutive Paul A-sides, preceded the LP's release. The Beatles made a short video for the song, as well as one for the single's B-side, "Rain." The films premiered on The Ed Sullivan Show and Top of the Pops in June 1966, and George referred to them as "the forerunners of videos."

After the Beatles' performing career came to an end, Paul felt unrest in the band and wanted them to keep producing creatively. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is widely recognised as rock's first concept album. Paul was inspired to give the group a new persona to serve as a vehicle for experimentation and to show their followers that they had grown musically. He created a fake band. He invented the fictional band of the album's title track.

Beginning in November 1966, the band took an experimental approach to the album's recording sessions. Martin and Paul took turns directing a forty-piece orchestra for their recording of "A Day in the Life." In February 1967, the sessions yielded the double A-side single "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane," followed by the album in June. The LP's cover featured a collage produced by pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, portraying the Beatles in costume as the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, standing alongside a plethora of celebrities, based on an ink painting by Paul.

After Epstein's death in August 1967, the Beatles were left befuddled and worried about their future. Paul eventually became the de facto leader and business manager of the band. He proposed that the band press forward with their intentions to produce a television film, which would eventually become Magical Mystery Tour. The film, which Paul mostly directed, received the group's first negative critical response. The soundtrack, on the other hand, was a huge hit. It was released in the United Kingdom as a six-track double extended play disc (EP), and in the United States as an identically titled LP, containing five tracks from the band's recent singles. The Magical Mystery Tour LP, the only Capitol compilation eventually included in the group's official canon of studio albums, sold $8 million in its first three weeks, more than any other Capitol LP up to that date.

Yellow Submarine, a Beatles animated film largely based on the imaginative universe created by Paul's 1966 composition, was released in July 1968. Though the film's visual aesthetic, humour, and music were praised by critics, the soundtrack CD, released six months later, was met with less enthusiasm. Relations within the band were deteriorating by late 1968. During the recording of their self-titled double album, often known as the "White Album," tensions rose. In January 1969, Paul began pushing the group to return to live performing, which resulted in the Get Back sessions (the project was later released as the Let It Be album and film).

Paul married Linda Eastman in March 1969, and the couple welcomed their first child, Mary, in August. Mary was named after Paul's late mother. Martin recommended "a continuously moving piece of music," asking the band to think symphonically, for the band's final recorded album, Abbey Road. Paul was on board, but John was not. They eventually came to an agreement, agreeing to Paul's proposal of an LP with solo songs on one side and a long medley on the other.

When Paul announced his departure from the group on April 10, 1970, he was replaced by Jack Bruce. On December 31, 1970, he filed a lawsuit, and the court appointed a receiver to handle Apple's finances in March 1971. The Beatles' partnership was legally dissolved on January 9, 1975, by an English court, while intermittent lawsuits against their record label, EMI, Klein, and each other continued until 1989.

Solo career

With the exception of his 1966 soundtrack for The Family Way, Paul began exploring creative possibilities outside the Beatles throughout the late 1960s, but where his comrades issued their own experimental records, Paul confined himself to composing and producing for other artists. Paul began working on his debut solo album at his home studio after his marriage to Linda Eastman on March 12, 1969. The self-titled McCartney was released in April 1970, two weeks before the Beatles' Let It Be album and film were set to be released. He had announced, against the wishes of the other members, that the Beatles were breaking up prior to the release of the album. The McCartney album became a hit, spending three weeks at the top of the Billboard charts in the United States. He returned in early 1971 with "Another Day," which became his first solo hit. Ram, his second album, was released a few months later, this time with contributions from his wife, Linda.

The McCartneys formed Wings, which was meant to be a full-fledged recording and touring band, by the end of 1971. Wings' first album, Wild Life, was released in December 1971, and it featured former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell. Wild Life received mixed reviews and was a relative flop. Paul and Wings spent 1972 as a working band, recording three singles with former Grease Band guitarist Henry McCullough. Red Rose Speedway was released in the spring of 1973, and despite receiving mixed reviews, it achieved his second number one album in the United States.

Wings went on their first British tour later that year, after which McCullough and Seiwell left the band. Paul's theme for the James Bond film Live and Let Die was a Top Ten hit in the United States and the United Kingdom prior to their departure. That summer, the remaining Wings went to Nigeria to make a new album. Band on the Run, released late in 1973, was both Paul's best-reviewed and most profitable album, spending four weeks at the top of the US charts and eventually earning triple-platinum.

Following the success of Band on the Run, Paul reformed Wings with Jimmy McCulloch on guitar and Geoff Britton on drums. On the 1974 British single "Junior's Farm" and the 1975 blockbuster album Venus and Mars, the new lineup was introduced. In 1976, At the Speed of Sound was released, and it was the first Wings album to incorporate songwriting contributions from the other members of the band. Despite this, the album was a huge hit thanks to two Paul songs, "Silly Love Songs" and "Let 'Em In." Wings' first international tour, which smashed several attendance records and was documented on the live triple-album Wings Over America, was released to promote the album. Wings took a break after the tour ended in 1977, with Paul releasing an instrumental version of Ram under the name Thrillington and producing Denny Laine's solo album Holly Days. Wings released "Mull of Kintyre" later that year, which went on to become the best-selling British single of all time, selling over two million copies. In 1978, Wings followed up "Mull of Kintyre" with London Town, which went platinum. McCulloch departed the band after it was released to join the reformed Small Faces, and Wings released Back to the Egg in 1979. Despite the record's platinum status, it failed to create any major hits.

Paul was arrested for marijuana possession at the start of a Japanese tour in early 1980; he was held for ten days before being released without charges. Wings effectively disbanded in the aftermath of Paul's arrest in Japan, while Denny Laine departed the band on April 27, 1981, and the band's official split was not announced until April 27, 1981. Back in England, Paul recorded McCartney II, which, like his solo debut, was a one-man band effort. Ironically, the album's smash single was a live version of "Coming Up," which was recorded in Glasgow with Wings in December 1979 and was supposed to be the B-side of the 45, with the solo studio track being the A-side. DJs, on the other hand, liked the live version, which went on to become the most popular.

Paul and Beatles producer George Martin stepped into the studio later that year, in 1980, to record Tug of War. Tug of War, which was released in the spring of 1982 and featured the number one song "Ebony and Ivory," a duet with Stevie Wonder that became Paul's biggest American hit, earned the best reviews of any Paul record since Band on the Run. Paul sang on Michael Jackson's blockbuster album Thriller's first single, "The Girl Is Mine," in 1983. In exchange, Michael and Paul collaborated on "Say Say Say," the first single from Paul's 1983 album Pipes of Peace and his final number one single. When Jackson took the publication rights to the Beatles' songs out from under Paul in 1985, their relationship deteriorated significantly.

Give My Regards to Broad Street was Paul's first feature film, which he directed in 1984. While the music, which included new songs as well as re-recorded Beatles songs, was a hit, spawning the hit single "No More Lonely Nights," the movie was a disappointment, receiving poor reviews.With the theme of the Chevy Chase/Dan Aykroyd comedy Spies Like Us, he had his final American Top Ten the following year. Although Press to Play (1986) received positive reviews, it was a box office disappointment. In 1988, he recorded Choba B CCCP, a collection of rock & roll oldies for publication in the Soviet Union; it was released in the United States and the United Kingdom in 1991.

Paul co-wrote numerous songs with Elvis Costello for Flowers in the Dirt in 1989, as well as tracks for Costello's Spike, including the smash "Veronica." Flowers in the Dirt garnered some of the best reviews of any Paul album since Tug of War, and it was accompanied by a lengthy international tour, which was documented on the live double-album Tripping the Live Fantastic (1990). Paul hired guitarist Robbie McIntosh and bassist Hamish Stuart for the tour, and they would go on to become the foundation of his band for the rest of the 1990s.

Unplugged, Paul's second live album, was published in 1991 and was based on his participation on MTV's acoustic concert show of the same name; it was the first Unplugged album to be issued. He premiered Liverpool Oratorio, his first classical composition, later that year. Off the Ground, Paul's third pop album, was released in 1993 but failed to chart despite Paul's successful support tour. In December 1993, he released another live album, Paul Is Live, following the completion of the New World tour. In 1994, he released an ambient techno record under the moniker the Fireman. Early in 1995, Paul debuted his second classical work, The Leaf, and went on to host the Oobu Joobu radio show on Westwood One.

But his main focus in 1995 and 1996 was the Beatles' Anthology, which included a multi-volume release of Beatles outtakes and rarities as well as a feature video documentary about the band. In the summer of 1997, after finishing Anthology, he released Flaming Pie. The album was a minor financial success, landing at number two on the U.S. and U.K. charts; it was Paul's best American chart placement since leaving the Beatles. It was a low-key, primarily acoustic affair that had some of the same charm as his debut. Flaming Pie benefited from the success of Anthology, as did Paul himself, who was knighted only a few months before the album's release in 1997.

Linda died on April 17, 1998. In the months that followed, a sad Paul kept a low profile, but he ultimately returned in October 1999 with Run Devil Run, a collection of mostly cover songs. A year later, the electronica-based Liverpool Sound Collage was released. In 2001, having witnessed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center from the JFK airport tarmac, Paul was inspired to take a leading role in organising the Concert for New York City. His studio album release in November that year, Driving Rain, included the song "Freedom", written in response to the attacks. Back in the U.S. was released in the United States in 2002, followed by Back in the World. The album reached the Top Ten in more than a dozen countries, including the U.S. and U.K.

In July 2005, Paul opened the Live 8 show with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (with U2) and closed it with "Drive My Car" (with George Michael), "Helter Skelter," and "The Long and Winding Road" in Hyde Park, London. Paul released the rock album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard in September, on which he played the majority of the instruments. He also played every instrument (save the strings) on David Kahne's Memory Almost Full in 2007, a bold but whimsical collection of new songs, some of which were recorded prior to the Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard recordings. It also charted in the top ten worldwide. In 2009, Good Evening New York City, a live CD/DVD combo, was released. The following year, with the release of a box set of Band on the Run, Paul began an intensive reissue campaign, which he accompanied with an American tour in the summer of 2011.

Later that year, Paul produced Ocean's Kingdom, his first ballet, and less than a year later, he issued another first: his first collection of pre-WWII standards. Kisses on the Bottom, the latter's album, topped the jazz charts in the United States and reached the Top Five in seven different nations. During the summer, he finished the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics with a set that included a longer rendition of "Hey Jude," as is typical. In December of that year, he surprised everyone by performing onstage with Nirvana's surviving ex-members as part of a benefit concert for Hurricane Sandy victims.

Paul Epworth, Ethan Johns, Giles Martin, and Mark Ronson, four of Paul's favourite producers, recorded with him in 2013. His original plan had been to perform trial sessions with each producer in order to choose one to handle the entire production of his next album. Each of them, however, contributed to the creation of New, his first album of original songs in six years, which was released in October of that year. New premiered in the Top Ten in more than a dozen countries, and Paul promoted the album with a series of international concerts over the next two years.

In 2015, he included deluxe reissues of Tug of War and Pipes of Peace to his continuing Paul McCartney Archive Collection. Pure McCartney, a specially crafted overview of his solo career, was released the following summer in two formats: a double-disc set and a four-disc box. Flowers in the Dirt was released as part of Paul's Archive Collection in early 2017. In September 2018, he released Egypt Station, his 17th solo album, which was produced by Greg Kurstin and preceded by the singles "I Don't Know," "Come on to Me," and "Fuh You." Egypt Station was Paul's first number one album in the United States since Tug of War, and it debuted at number three in the United Kingdom.

In 2019, Paul released a couple of non-LP tracks from the Egypt Station sessions, then in July 2020, he released an Archive edition of Flaming Pie. McCartney III, an album Paul created and recorded on his own during the global COVID-19 lockdown, was released on December 18, 2020, and became Paul's first number one album in the United Kingdom since Flowers in the Dirt; giving Paul his first number one album in the U.K. since Flowers in the Dirt. The album debuted at two in the U.S. and spawned a 2021 album of "reinterpretations, remixes, and covers" called McCartney III Imagined. Paul's book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present was released in November 2021. The book is described as a "self-portrait in 154 songs."

Paul's "Got Back" tour ran from 28 April 2022 to 16 June 2022 in the United States, his first in the country since 2019. The tour concluded on 25 June 2022 when Paul headlined Glastonbury Festival, a week after his 80th birthday. Performing on the Pyramid Stage, he became the oldest solo headliner at the festival. Special guests were Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen. In 2022, he received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series at the 74th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, as a producer for the documentary The Beatles: Get Back.

Beatles songs written by Paul McCartney

  • ‘Love Me Do’
  • ‘P.S. I Love You’
  • ‘I Saw Her Standing There’
  • ‘Hold Me Tight’
  • ‘All My Loving’
  • ‘Can´t Buy Me Love’
  • ‘And I Love Her’
  • ‘Things We Said Today’
  • ‘Every Little Thing’
  • ‘What You´re Doing’
  • ‘Eight Days a Week’
  • ‘I’ll Follow the Sun’
  • ‘She’s A Woman’
  • ‘Another Girl’
  • ‘The Night Before’
  • ‘Tell Me What You See’
  • ‘I’m Down’
  • ‘I´ve Just Seen a Face’
  • ‘Paperback Writer’
  • ‘Yesterday’
  • ‘Drive My Car’
  • ‘I’m Looking Through You’
  • ‘Michelle’
  • ‘You Won’t See Me’
  • ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’
  • ‘Eleanor Rigby’
  • ‘For No One’
  • ‘Yellow Submarine’
  • ‘Good Day Sunshine’
  • ‘Here, There and Everywhere’
  • ‘Penny Lane’
  • ‘Hello, Goodbye’
  • ‘When I’m 64’
  • ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
  • ‘Fixing a Hole’
  • ‘Lovely Rita’
  • ‘Getting Better’
  • ‘She’s Leaving Home’
  • ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’
  • ‘Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’
  • ‘Magical Mystery Tour’
  • ‘Your Mother Should Know’
  • ‘The Fool on the HIll’
  • ‘Blackbird’
  • ‘Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da’
  • ‘Helter Skelter’
  • ‘Mother Nature’s Son’
  • ‘Rocky Raccoon’
  • ‘Wild Honey Pie’
  • ‘Back in the USSR’
  • ‘Lady Madonna’
  • ‘Hey Jude’
  • ‘I Will’
  • ‘Birthday’
  • ‘Honey Pie’
  • ‘Martha My Dear’
  • ‘Why Don´t We Do It in the Road?’
  • ‘All Together Now’
  • ‘Oh! Darling’
  • ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’
  • ‘Her Majesty’
  • ‘Golden Slumbers’
  • ‘Carry That Weight’
  • ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’
  • ‘The End’
  • ‘She Came In Through The Bathroom Window’
  • ‘Get Back’
  • ‘Two of us’
  • ‘Let It Be’
  • ‘The Long and Winding Road’


With The Beatles

Solo albums

  1. McCartney (1970)
  2. Ram (1971) (With Linda McCartney)
  3. Wild Life (1971) (With Wings)
  4. Red Rose Speedway (1973) (With Wings)
  5. Band on the Run (1973) (With Wings)
  6. Venus and Mars (1975) (With Wings)
  7. Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976) (With Wings)
  8. Thrillington (1977) (As Percy "Thrills" Thrillington)
  9. London Town (1978) (With Wings)
  10. Back to the Egg (1979) (With Wings)
  11. McCartney II (1980)
  12. Tug of War (1982)
  13. Pipes of Peace (1983)
  14. Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)
  15. Press to Play (1986)
  16. Flowers in the Dirt (1989)
  17. Снова в СССР (1991)
  18. Off the Ground (1993)
  19. Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (1993) (With The Fireman)
  20. Flaming Pie (1997)
  21. Standing Stone (1997)
  22. Rushes (1998) (With The Fireman)
  23. Run Devil Run (1999)
  24. Working Classical (1999)
  25. Liverpool Sound Collage (2000)
  26. Driving Rain (2001)
  27. Twin Freaks (2005) (With The Freelance Hellraiser)
  28. Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005)
  29. Ecce Cor Meum (2006)
  30. Memory Almost Full (2007)
  31. Electric Arguments (2008) (With The Fireman)
  32. Ocean's Kingdom (2011)
  33. Kisses on the Bottom (2012)
  34. New (2013)
  35. Egypt Station (2018)
  36. McCartney III (2020)



  • 1961 Hofner 500/1 Custom (1961-1964)
  • 1963 Hofner 500/1 ([[1]]/1989-_)
  • 1964 Rickenbacker 4001S-LH Fireglo (1965-1990)
  • 1966 Fender Jazz Bass Sunburst (1968-1969)



  • 1962 Epiphone 230TD Casino Sunburst (1965-_)
  • 1964 Fender Esquire (1966-1968)
  • 1960 Gibson Les Paul Cherry Sunburst (1989-present)


    • 1964 Epiphone Texan FT-79 (1964-_)
    • 1968 Martin D-28 (1968-1970)
    • Takamine EN25C (1989-????)


  • Ludwig Super Classic drum kit in Oyster Black Pearl finish with 22-inch kick drum (1968-1969)
  • Unidentified Grand Piano (1963-_)


External Links