Sir Paul McCartney MBE (18.6.1942)
Sir Paul McCartney is a British singer, songwriter and musician, famous for being a member of the hugely popular group The Beatles, who rose to fame in the 1960s.
Paul McCartney: Childhood
Paul McCartney was born to Mary and Jim McCartney in Liverpool. His mother died of an embolism after receiving treatment for breast cancer, in 1956.
In the 1920s, Jim McCartney had been the star of Jim Mac's Jazz Band and he encouraged Paul and his brother Mike to learn musical instruments as children. Jim originally bought Paul a trumpet to learn, but with the rise in popularity of skiffle music, Paul swapped the trumpet for an acoustic guitar.
Spotting a poster for a Slim Whitman gig, Paul McCartney realised that it was possible to play the guitar left-handed and so strung his guitar the opposite way to help him. He also learned the piano, on which he wrote 'When I'm Sixty-Four'.
Paul McCartney: Early Musical Life
When he was 15, Paul McCartney met John Lennon and The Quarrymen at a church fête. Paul's working class background initially caused Lennon's family to disapprove of their friendship. George Harrison later joined the band, as did Stuart Sutcliffe. They changed their name to The Silver Beetles and toured with Johnny Gentle.
Paul McCartney: The Beatles
In May 1960, The Beatles were managed by Allan Williams, who booked them a gig in Hamburg, earning themselves £2/10s a day. The drummer in these early days of the band was Pete Best. After some of the band were deported from Germany, the band regrouped in Liverpool, where they began playing at the now infamous Cavern Club. When Sutcliffe left the band, Paul McCartney took over on bass, somewhat reluctantly, and bought himself a Höfner 1962 500/1 left-handed bass guitar.
Brian Epstein saw the band play in November 1961 and offered to manage them. Neil Aspinall was nominated as their road manager, who drove them to a showcase in London for Decca Records, who rejected them. The band were on the cusp of signing a deal with Parlophone Records when Brian Epstein sacked Pete Best and replaced him with Ringo Starr (real name, Richard Starkey). The band's debut single was 'Love Me Do'.
The Beatles' debut album, Please Please Me was released in 1963. Paul McCartney also wrote a number of songs for other singers, including Mary Hopkin and Cilla Black. Whilst most of the band remained living in Liverpool, Paul McCartney lived with his girlfriend, Jane Asher, at her parents' house, near Abbey Road Studios.
In 1965, The Beatles received an MBE.
In 1966, Paul McCartney wrote the score for the film The Family Way, earning himself an Ivor Novello award for Best Instrumental Theme. He also continued to write for other artists, including Badfinger and The Bonzo Dog Do-Da Band.
The Beatles officially broke up in 1970, though John Lennon had announced his departure from the band in 1969. Paul McCartney filed a lawsuit in 1970, which ultimately disseminated the band. Shortly after this, McCartney's debut solo album was released, entitled McCartney. Linda McCartney was also involved in the recording of the album, something that Paul had insisted on, so that they would be able to stay together when he was on tour.
Ram, Paul McCartney's second solo album, was credited to Paul and Linda McCartney. Later that year, Paul McCartney formed the band Wings. The line-up of the band including Denny Laine on guitar and Denny Seiwell. Wings' debut album, Wild Life, was released in December 1971, followed by a tour of British universities in early 1972. Their single 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish' was banned by the BBC. In the summer of 1972, the band embarked on the 26-date Wings Over Europe Tour.
In 1973, Wings released two albums, Red Rose Speedway and Band on the Run. In between these two album releases, Wings wrote the theme tune for the James Bond movie, Live and Let Die. The tune was produced by Sir George Martin, who also arranged the orchestral pieces in the song. Band on the Run won two Grammy Awards and featured the single 'Jet'.
In 1974, Paul McCartney and John Lennon recorded a jam session, which was later released as A Toot and a Snore in '74. McCartney also recorded an instrumental track that his father had written, entitled 'Walking In The Park With Eloise'. The recording featured Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer and the members of Wings.
Wings' next album, Venus and Mars was released in 1975. The singles 'Listen to What the Man Said' and 'Rock Show' were released from the album and the band then undertook the Wings Over The World tour. The single 'Mull of Kintyre' was released in 1977 and remained at the number one spot in the UK for nine weeks.
In Christmas 1979, Paul McCartney released the solo track 'Wonderful Christmas'. The following year, McCartney II, was released. Two very popular singles, 'Coming Up' and 'Waterfalls' were released from the album.
In 1982, McCartney worked with George Martin and Ringo Starr on his next album Tug of War. The lead single was a duet with Stevie Wonder named 'Ebony and Ivory'. McCartney also duetted with Michael Jackson on 'The Girl Is Mine', from Jackson's Thriller album. They also duetted on 'Say Say Say', from Paul McCartney's Pipes of Peace, release in 1983.
Paul then wrote and starred in the film Give My Regards to Broad Street, released in 1984. He also wrote 'We All Stand Together', from the cartoon film Rupert and the Frog Song.
In the late 1980s, Paul McCartney wrote a number of songs with Elvis Costello.
McCartney worked with a number of orchestras in the 1990s, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society. The Prince of Wales made McCartney a fellow of the Royal College of Music. He released a number of classical pieces, including 'A Leaf', 'Standing Stone', 'Working Classical' and 'Ecce Cor Meum'.
Flaming Pie was released in 1997 and received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. That same year, he was knighted and dedicated the honour to his fellow Beatles and the people of Liverpool. Two years later, he released Run Devil Run.
A Garland For Linda was released in 2000 - a tribute to his late wife, Linda McCartney. The album raised funds for cancer patients.
McCartney's next album, Driving Rain, was inspired by his wife-to-be, Heather Mills.
In 2005, McCartney released the album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. Two years later, Paul signed a record deal with Starbucks' coffee group. He played a number of secret gigs in London, Los Angeles and New York. Among the celebrities in attendance were Kate Moss, Elijah Wood, and Whoopi Goldberg. To celebrate Liverpool's 'City of Culture', McCartney performed 'Band on the Run' with Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters.
Paul McCartney: Personal & Family Life
Following his high profile relationship with Jane Asher and his marriages to Linda Eastman and to Linda McCartney, Sir Paul McCartney married Heather Mills. Their relationship and subsequent divorce generated a huge amount of tabloid interest and their marriage.
Since 2007, Paul McCartney has been dating Nancy Shevell, a member of the board of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Sir Paul's daughter, Stella McCartney is a high profile fashion designer.