Paul McCartney ~ A Gift from England

     Raphael Pour-Hashemi, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia CommonsSir James Paul McCartney, 80, Born in Liverpool, (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, and musician who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist, co-songwriter, and bassist for the Beatles (he left the Beatles in 1970). One of the most successful composers and performers of all time, he is known for his melodic approach to bass-playing, versatile and wide tenor vocal range, and musical eclecticism, exploring styles ranging from pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop to classical and electronica. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history. McCartney is a largely self-taught musician who taught himself piano, guitar and songwriting as a teenager. In addition he is a writer of children’s books, an actor, a playwright, solo artist, and painter with history of a 500 piece gallery showing. He has been in jail for marijuana possession and illegal cultivation.
When McCartney was 14, his mother died of an embolism as a complication of surgery for breast cancer. McCartney’s loss later became a connection with his boyhood friend, John Lennon, whose mother, Julia, had died when he was 17.
McCartney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 as a member of the Beatles and again as a solo artist in 1999. In 1979, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized McCartney as the “most honored composer and performer in music”, with 60 gold discs (43 with the Beatles, 17 with Wings)
Guinness World Records again recognized McCartney as the “most successful songwriter” having written or co-written 188 charted records in the United Kingdom, of which 91 reached the top 10 and 33 made it to number one.
Having witnessed the September 11 attacks in 2001 from the JFK airport tarmac, McCartney was inspired to take a leading role in organizing the Concert for New York City.

In December 2020, the release of his album McCartney III and its subsequent charting at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 earned McCartney the feat of being the first artist to have a new album in the top two chart positions in each of the last six decades.
McCartney’s 18th solo album, McCartney III, was released on 18 December 2020, via Capitol Records. An album of “reinterpretations, remixes, and covers” titled McCartney III Imagined was released on 16 April 2021. McCartney’s book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present was released in November 2021. Described as a “self-portrait in 154 songs”, the book is based on conversations McCartney had with the Irish poet Paul Muldoon. On 18 February 2022, McCartney announced his “Got Back” United States tour, his first in the country since 2019, and running from 28 April 2022 to 16 June 2022. Performing on the Pyramid Stage on 25 June 2022, McCartney headlined the Glastonbury Festival, a week after his 80th birthday in June 2022. He was the festival’s oldest participant in its history.
McCartney is known for his belting power, versatility and wide tenor vocal range, spanning over four octaves.  He plays acoustic, bass and electric guitar, with his favorite being acoustic. He also plays the keyboard and drums.
In 2001, McCartney published Blackbird Singing, a volume of poems and lyrics to his songs for which he gave readings in Liverpool and New York City.

Since 1975, McCartney has been a vegetarian. He and his wife Linda (nee Eastman) were vegetarians for most of their 29-year marriage which began in March 1969. They had four children—Linda’s daughter Heather (legally adopted by Paul), Mary (named after Paul’s late mother), Stella (named after both of Linda’s grandmothers) and James—and remained married until Linda’s death from breast cancer at age 56 in April 1998. After Linda died, Paul said, “I got a counselor because I knew that I would need some help. He was great, particularly in helping me get rid of my guilt [about wishing I’d been] perfect all the time … a real bugger. But then I thought, hang on a minute. We’re just human. That was the beautiful thing about our marriage. We were just a boyfriend and girlfriend having babies.”
In July 2002, McCartney married Heather Mills, a former model and anti-landmine campaigner (she has a prosthetic leg).  In 2003, the couple had a child, Beatrice Milly, named in honor of Mills’s late mother and one of McCartney’s aunts. They separated in April 2006 and divorced acrimoniously in March 2008. In 2004, he commented on media animosity toward his partners: “[the British public] didn’t like me giving up on Jane Asher … I married [Linda], a New York divorcee with a child, and at the time they didn’t like that”.
McCartney married New Yorker Nancy Shevell in a civil ceremony at Marylebone Town Hall, London, on 9 October 2011. The wedding was a modest event attended by a group of about 30 relatives and friends. The couple had been together since November 2007. Shevell is vice president of a family-owned transportation conglomerate which owns New England Motor Freight. She is a former member of the board of the New York area‘s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Shevell is about 18 years younger than McCartney. They had known each other for about 20 years prior to marrying, having met because both had homes in the Hamptons.

Beyond music, he has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rightsseal huntingland minesvegetarianismpoverty, and music education. Humane Society of the United StatesHumane Society InternationalWorld Animal Protection, and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, McCartney called for Chinese wet markets (which sell live animals including wild ones) to be banned. He expressed concern over both the health impacts of the practice as well as its cruelty to animals.

McCartney continues to play with a musical group, playing live with Ray, Anderson, Laboriel, and Wickens longer than he played live with the Beatles or Wings.

McCartney remains one of the world’s top draws at any venue for any cause. His remarkable achievements and plethora of talents cannot be adequately captured in this column.  To learn more check out

He is one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated fortune of $1.5 billion dollars.


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