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. He is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for most records sold, most #1s (shared), most covered song, "Yesterday," largest paid audience for a solo concert (350,000+ people, in 1989, in Brazil). He is considered one of the most successful entertainers of all time.
He was born James Paul McCartney on June 18, 1942, in Liverpool General Hospital, where his mother, Mary, was a medical nurse and midwife. His father, Jim, was a cotton salesman and a pianist leading the Jim Mac's Jazz Band in Liverpool. Young Paul McCartney was raised non-denominational. He studied music and art, and had a happy childhood with one younger brother, Michael. At age 11, he was one of only four students who passed the 11+ exam, known as "the scholarship" in Liverpool, and gained a place at Liverpool Institute for Boys. There he studied from 1953 to 1960, earning A level in English and Art.
At the age of 14, Paul McCartney was traumatized by his mother's sudden death from breast cancer. Shortly afterward, he wrote his first song. In July 1957 he met John Lennon during their performances at a local church fête (festival). McCartney impressed Lennon with his mastery of guitar and singing in a variety of styles. He soon joined Lennon's band, The Quarrymen, and eventually became founding member of The Beatles, with the addition of George Harrison and Pete Best. After a few gigs in Hamburg, Germany, the band returned to Liverpool and played regular gigs at the Cavern during 1961.
All four members of The Beatles were charismatic and individually talented artists, they sparked each other from the beginning. Paul McCartney had the privilege of a better musical education, having studied classical piano and guitar in his childhood. He progressed as a lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, as well as a singer-songwriter. In addition to singing and songwriting, Paul McCartney played bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, piano and keyboards, as well as over 40 other musical instruments.
In 2000 he was invited by Heather Mills, a disabled ex-model, to her 32nd birthday. McCartney wrote songs dedicated to her, he and Mills developed a romantic relationship and became engaged in 2001. However, the year brought him a cascade of traumatic experiences. On September 11, 2001, Paul McCartney was sitting on a plane in New York when the World Trade Center tragedy occurred in front of his eyes, and he was able to witness the events from his seat. Yet there was another sadness, as his former band-mate George Harrison died of cancer in November, 2001.
Recouperating from the stressful year, McCartney received the 2002 Academy Award-nomination for the title song to the movie Vanilla Sky(2001), and also went on his first concert tour in several years. In June, 2002, Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills married in a castle in Monaghan, Ireland. Their daughter, Beatrice Milly McCartney, was born in October 2003. Four years later, the high profile marriage ended in divorce, after a widely publicized litigation. "Whenever you're going through difficult times, I'm at the moment, it's really cool to be able to escape into music" says Paul McCartney.
In 2003 Paul McCartney rocked the Red Square in Moscow with his show "Back in USSR" which was attended by his former opponents from the former Soviet KGB, including the Russian president Vladimir Putin himself, who invited McCartney to be the guest of honor in the Kremlin. In 2004 Paul McCartney received a birthday present from the Russian president. In June 2004, he and Heather Mills-McCartney stayed as special guests at suburban Royal Palaces of Russian Tsars in St. Petersburg, Russia. There he staged a spectacular show near the Tsar's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg where the Communist Revolution took place, just imagine.
In 2005 the Entertainment magazine poll named The Beatles the most iconic entertainers of the 20th Century. In 2006, the guitar on which Paul McCartney played his first chords and impressed John Lennon, was sold at an auction for over $600,000.
On June 18, 2006, Paul McCartney celebrated his 64th birthday, as in his song "when I'm Sixty-Four." McCartney's celebrity status, made it a cultural milestone for a generation of those born in the baby-boom era who grew up with the music of The Beatles during the 1960s. The prophetic message in the song has been intertwined with McCartney's personal life and his career.
In 2007 McCartney left his longtime label, EMI, and signed with Los Angeles based Hear Music. He learned to play mandolin to create a refreshing feeling for his latest album "Memory Almost Full," then appeared in Apple Computer's commercial for iPod+iTunes to promote the album. In June 2007 McCartney appeared together with Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison and Guy Laliberté in a live broadcast from the "Revolution" Lounge at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
His 3-DVD set "The McCartney Years" with over 40 music videos and hours of Historic Live Performances was released in November 2007. His classical album "Ecco Cor Meum" (aka.. Behold My Heart), recorded with the Academy of St. Martin of the Fields and the boys of King's college Choir, was voted Classical Album of the Year in 2007. That same year, Paul McCartney began dating Nancy Shevell. The couple married in 2011, in London. Sir Paul's "On the Run Tour" once again took him flying across world from July through December 2011 giving sold out concerts in the USA, Canada, UK, United Arab Emirates, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
On the long and winding road of his life and career, Sir Paul McCartney has been a highly respected entertainer and internationally regarded public figure. Drop your wishes in the comments below!