Introduction and Early Life:
Paul McCartney is one of the most influential and celebrated figures in the history of recorded music. According to music historians, the English singer-songwriter and musician’s work with the Beatles changed the face of popular music forever. After the group disbanded in 1970, McCartney turned to a solo career which was far more commercially successful as compared to his three former colleagues. He is also a dedicated activist and philanthropist who worked tirelessly for many causes, including animal rights, land mines, poverty and vegetarianism.
Born “James Paul McCartney” in Liverpool on June 18, 1942, his father was a cotton salesman and his mother was a nurse. McCartney had a happy childhood and demonstrated an early aptitude for music and creative arts. He was also a very bright student, but his happy childhood was cut short when his mother died of breast cancer. A 14-year-old McCartney, hugely devastated by this grievous loss, turned to music and started writing his own songs to cope with the stress of her mother’s death.
Career and Musical Achievements:
At the age of 15, Paul McCartney met John Lennon at the St Peter’s Church Hall fête. He decided to join Lennon’s skiffle band, the Quarrymen, as a singer and rhythm guitarist. The group, after several lineup changes, officially adopted the name “the Beatles” in 1960 and the rest, as they say, is history.
McCartney became the lead vocalist with the Beatles and also played a variety of instruments, including bass guitar, acoustic & electric guitar, piano and keyboards. He and Lennon formed a close songwriting partnership and wrote more than 200 hit songs together; many of which shaped up during the group’s jamming sessions. The Beatles songs and albums covers were socially relevant and quite political, and endorsed values of societal improvement such as peace, freedom, equality and justice.
When the group’s manager Brian Epstein died in 1967, the Beatles started to shed their unity and simultaneously lost their creative focus. As a consequence, the four members launched their individual solo careers. McCartney went on to form his own band called the Wings and recorded an impressively diverse and rich catalogue of songs.
Awards and Accolades:
Paul McCartney has been honored with countless awards and honors in his career. He is a recipient of 21 Grammy Awards, Academy Award, BRIT Award, Kennedy Center Honors, and Légion d’Honneur for his work with the Beatles and solo endeavors. McCartney has been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and became the first Beatle to get a star the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.
Paul McCartney has been married three times. He was knighted by the Queen in 1997. McCartney was arrested in Tokyo for marijuana possession in 1980. He is also one of the wealthiest musicians in the world.