- Full Name Paul McCartney
- Occupation Musician
- Nationality British
- Birthplace Liverpool, UK
- Birth Date June 18, 1942
Paul McCartney | Biography 2021
Paul McCartney is a famous British singer-songwriter, musician primarily known as the lead vocalist of the legendary band 'The Beatles.'
Paul McCartney is a famous British singer-songwriter, musician primarily known as the lead vocalist of the legendary band 'The Beatles.'
Who is Paul McCartney?
McCartney is one of the phenomenal British artists of all time. He was the lead vocalist of the rock band 'The Beatles.' He then established his solo career.
Duly encouraged by his father, McCartney learned music and started writing songs from the age of 14. He later met musician John Lennon at a church festival and joined his band that later evolved into 'The Beatles.'
With the Beatles, McCartney composed and released 12 studio albums. Almost all of them were jointly written by Lennon and other members. His worldwide success with the band and the band's unique capacity of creating music revolutionized the pop culture of the 60s and the 70s.
After the band broke up, he formed another band with his wife. It did not last long, and so he started doing solo. McCartney had released 60 gold records and accumulated 18 'Grammy Awards.' He had also garnered two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and 1999.
The Queen of England knighted him in 1997, and so his royal title became Sir James Paul McCartney. He had also been given the Legion of Honors by her majesty and 'Gershwin Award' by the former president of America, Barack Obama.
James Paul McCartney was born on June 18, 1942, in Liverpool General Hospital. His mother, Mary Patricia (nee Mohin), was a medical nurse and midwife at the same hospital where he was born. His father, James 'Jim' was a cotton salesman and a pianist leading 'Jim Mac's Jazz Band.' McCartney has one younger brother Michael.
McCartney studied music and art from a young age. He passed the 11+ exam, also known as 'the scholarship' in Liverpool, at the age of 11. Through the scholarship, McCartney studied A level in English and Art from 1953 to 1960 at Liverpool Institute for Boys.
Reminiscing his time of school days, after decades, he said, "Whenever I do a speech at the graduation, I always remember my mum and dad coming to events at the school when we were kids, like speech day, and your mum and dad would be there all proud of you and stuff, so when I'm standing there, talking to all the parents and all the kids, I get quite emotional. I've got a million memories in that place and most of them are great, most of them are lovely."
McCartney wrote his first song, 'I lost my little girl,' when he was 14 years old. At the age of 16, he wrote another song, 'When I am Sixty-Four' with the hopes of selling it to singer Frank Sinatra. He wrote 'I lost my little girl,' after his mom died of breast cancer. Shortly after that, he met John Lennon in 1957 at the age of 15. They both participated in the local church festival, where McCartney was in the choir and Lennon was a guitarist. McCartney was very impressed by Lennon's guitar skill and joined Lennon's band 'The Quarrymen.' Lennon and McCartney jointly wrote the lyrics of the songs. The band consisted of three members - Stuart Sutcliffe, Lennon, and McCartney, all guitarists. They played the rock version of their songs only when they had a drummer. Sutcliffe and McCartney came up with the name 'Beatles.' It eventually evolved to 'The Beatles.'
In the 1960s, Beatles had already entered clubs and bars. They werre also regularly playing in the Liverpool Cavern, where 500 people would be present to hear them in the 200 people capacity club. The band attained local popularity and got an opportunity to play in Hamburg.
While recording their first tracks in Hamburg, a music columnist Brian Epstein offered to be their manager. It was a turning point for the band. Epstein identified the star quality in their music and worked hard for the band to land a record deal. Eventually, the band signed a record deal with the record label EMI. They also hired a drummer Ringo Starr.
After their sign with the EMI, the revolutionary impact their music created was called 'Beatlemania.' From 1962 to 1970, the band had released 12 studio albums influencing the youth of many nations. By early 1964, the band attained international popularity, and they were touring in many countries. They sang about love, friendship, happiness, and peace. The band had a never-ending space of flourishment with their balanced sync over their team. The band was shaping the rock and pop genre of the music. The artists inspired American pop with British dominance and had established a unique theme of melody.
McCartney had multi-instrumental skills. He could play over 40 instruments. Besides, he was one of the songwriters and the lead vocalist. His singular hit during the Beatles was 'Can't Buy Me Love,' which changed the style, fashion, and taste of the industry. McCartney wrote it when he was on an 18-day Paris tour. The song featured him as a solo writer. Until then, all the Beatles songs were co-written by Lennon-McCartney. The song changed the dynamics of pop songs and also the band. In its first week of release, it sold two million copies and topped both the UK and USA charts.
Nevertheless, 'Can't Buy Me Love' altered McCartney's career. He later revealed that 'You Know My Name' was his best Beatles song. The reason, he said, "All the memories— I mean, what would you do if a guy like John Lennon turned up at the studio and said, 'I've got a new song.' I said, 'What's the words?' and he replied, 'You know my name, look up the number.' I asked, 'What's the rest of it?' '…No. No other words, those are twords. And I wanna do it like a mantra!' We did it over a period of maybe two or three years…it didn't work. Eventually, we pulled it all together and I sang, and we just did a skit. Mal (Evans) and his gravel. I can still see Mal digging the gravel. And it was just so hilarious to put that record together. It's not a great melody or anything, it's just unique. Some people haven't discovered that song yet."
The band constantly toured from 1962 to 1966, and their last live performance was on August 29, 1966, at the Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The band fell apart after the death of Epstein, and the appointment of Allen Klein was not agreed upon by McCartney. Lennon was the first member to back out. In 1970, all the four members of the band - Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr released their solo albums.
McCartney's solo was the first album to release. The album 'McCartney 1970' received mixed reviews but was loved by the public. It was the top seller of the US Charts. Gaining courage from the response, McCartney formed a band 'Wings' with his then-wife, Linda McCartney. McCartney's discography consists of 26 studio albums.
Among the 26 albums, 'McCartney III' was one of his most experimental and legendary albums. While his other albums gravitated towards rock and pop, this one was acoustic and instrumental. The album was the series album preceded by 'McCartney I' and 'McCartney II.'
About the moment of realization to compile the album, he said, "Right at the end of it, I'd just been stockpiling tracks, and I thought, 'I don't know what I'm going to do with all of this – I guess I'll hang onto it,' and then I thought, 'Wait a minute, this is a McCartney record,' because I'd played everything and done it in the same manner as McCartney I and II. That was a little light bulb going off, and I thought, 'Well, at least that makes a point of explaining what I've been doing, unbeknownst to me.' "
Besides McCartney III he has released various albums in the past Band on the Run, Tug of War, Ram, Flower In The Dirt, Egypt station
'Band on the Run'
In 1973 Paul McCartney and Wings' third studio album, Band on the Run, was released. Its financial success was bolstered by two smash singles, "Jet" and "Band on the Run," and it went on to become the best-selling studio album in the UK and Australia in 1974. The iconic Band On The Run album was rounded out by songs like "Bluebird," "Let Me Roll It," "Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)," and "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five."
McCartney told Melody Maker shortly after the release of Band On The Run; "The basic idea about the band on the run is a kind of prison escape. At the beginning of the album, the guy is stuck inside four walls and eventually breaks out. There is a thread, but it's not a concept album.”
'Tug of War '
The third solo album Tug of War was released in 1982. George Martin produced the album, which features various guest artists such as Stevie Wonder, Carl Perkins, and Ringo Starr. Tug of War topped the charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom and got a "Grammy" nomination for Album of the Year in 1983.
Tug Of War was Paul's first solo album following the announcement of Wings' breakup, and it was released shortly after John Lennon's death, whose legacy is painfully referenced on the single "Here Today." While the title suggests a record about power battles, Paul saw it as a record about "opposites." It's about "duality," he explains. He reunited with producer George Martin for the album, which featured two duets with Stevie Wonder, one of which, 'Ebony And Ivory,' was a global hit. The recordings were so productive that a few tracks were saved for the album Pipes Of Peace, which was released in 1983. Tug Of War was nominated for a "Grammy Award" for "Album of the Year" when it was released in 1983.
In 1970, The couple's album, Ram, is billed to Paul and Linda McCartney. With guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken, as well as future Wings drummer Denny Seiwell, he and Linda recorded it in New York. "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," McCartney's first number one success in America as a solo artist, "The Back Seat of My Car," and "Eat at Home" were the three singles released from Ram.
'Flower In the Dirt'
Flowers In The Dirt, Paul McCartney's album, was released in the spring of 1989. The album included the fruits of a brief writing collaboration with Elvis Costello. A third of the tracks on the album were written collaboratively by Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello. Flowers In The Dirt was published as a collection of five singles. The record also included a superb roster of iconic performers, including Nicky Hopkins on piano, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, and Greg Hawkes of The Cars. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the United States and a Brit Award in the United Kingdom.
'Egypt Station '
In 2018, His album, Egypt Station, was released. McCartney performed a concert inside New York's Grand Central Station shortly after the album's release. In The concept behind Egypt Station, each song represented a separate railway station stop during the journey that makes up the entire album.
Following his success in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, McCartney collaborated with the millennial pop artists Rihanna and Kanye West in 2015. They released a 'stripped-down' pop song, 'FourFiveSeconds,' which showcased McCartney's everlasting talent of creating pop music that impacts the youth of any decade.
Previously in the 80s, his fabled collaborations were with Michael Jackson and Steve Wonder. Both were a commercial and critical successes.
Apart from his music composition, McCartney published two children's storybooks and one cookbook. His storybook 'Hey Grandude!' was released in 2019.
About the book, he said, "a very personal story… celebrating Grandudes everywhere and their relationships and adventures with their grandchildren."
Its following sequel, 'Grandude's Green Submarine,' was released in 2021. About the new book, he said, "continues the adventures of Grandude and his grandchildren as they set off on a quest to find their music-loving grandmother, Nandude!"
Again in 2021, McCartney's released a cookbook. It was published alongside his daughters, Mary and Stella, from his marriage to Linda McCartney. The book was named 'Linda McCartney's Family Kitchen: Over 90 Plant-based Recipes to Save the Planet and Nourish the Soul.' The book included plant-based recipes and favorite family stories behind the recipes Linda used to make for the family.
Awards and Recognitions
In more than 70 years of his music career, McCartney had accumulated an impossible number of accolades. His achievements include 60 gold records, 18 'Grammy Awards' including 9 with the Beatles.
The Queen of England knighted McCartney in 1997. In 2012, he was given the 'Leigh of Honors' by her majesty.
In 1996, McCartney established the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, one of England's most prestigious art schools providing higher education in music,
McCartney was inducted twice in the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame - first in 1988 as a member, when 'The Beatles' was inducted and second as a solo artist in 1999.
He was also named as the 'MusiCares Person of the Year,' in 2012. In 2014, McCartney was honored with the 'Gershwin Award' by the former president of America, Barack Obama.
McCartney's first wife was Linda Eastman, a music photographer from London. They got married in 1969. Linda had a daughter Heather from her previous relationship, whom McCartney adopted after their marriage. Later they had two daughters Stella and Mary. Linda passed away from breast cancer in 1998 at the age of 56.
McCartney married Heather Mills in 2002. They had one daughter Beatrice McCartney. The couple got separated in 2006 and eventually divorced in 2008.
McCartney's third wife was Nancy Shevell. They got married in 2011 and have been together ever since.
In 1964, Bob Dylan introduced McCartney and the other Beatles to marijuana 1964, and McCartney became a regular and recreational user. Over the years, he has made his pro-marijuana stance known. The US authorities continually denied him a visa until 1973 as a result of two minor drug arrests and fines for possession and growing marijuana plants.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he was arrested a few more times for marijuana possession. In 1997, he stated his support for the drug's decriminalization. During the recording of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," he used cocaine and LSD on a regular basis but stopped shortly after the session was over.
After being caught with half a pound of cannabis while attempting to enter JapanPaul was imprisoned for nine days in 1980. Then he was subsequently released without charge after thousands of protests from supporters and multiple visits from his lawyers.
Reminiscing the absurd thing he did in the past Sir Paul admitted "It was the daftest thing I've done in my entire life"."I was out in New York and I had all these really good grasS. We were about to fly to Japan and I knew I wouldn't be able to get anything to smoke over there.
Before being caught he said he didn't want to flush the things down the toilet, so he decided to take it with him. He said that being imprisoned in a Japanese prison was "not too pleasant," but he kept his spirits up by organizing "sing-songs" with his fellow inmates.
Relationship With John Lenon
During their time as bandmates and heavily collaborating on lyrics and music, McCartney and Lennon had a rocky relationship. They reconnected temporarily in the mid-1970s but eventually drifted apart again. According to McCartney, his last phone call to Lennon was cordial, and they parted on friendly terms. Lennon was assassinated on December 8, 1980. The media chastised McCartney for giving a "superficial" response to reporters who inquired about his reaction to the news as he walked out of an Oxford Street recording studio. He said he returned home that evening to hear the news on television and grieve for the rest of the evening over the death of his former colleague and buddy.
Between 1962, and 1970, Lennon and McCartney co-wrote about 180 songs together. The pair were recognized for selling over 600 million records worldwide, making them the most successful musical partnership of all time.
Besides their professional relationship, McCartney described Lenon to be the warm and generous guy, Macca added “Most of the time he was very generous, very loving, very easy to work with. But both of us had this sardonic streak that we could bring to each other’s things. I’m writing, ‘It’s getting better all the time’, and he chips in with, ‘Couldn’t get much worse. And the song keeps moving ahead because of that. But he was a very warm guy actually, John. His reputation, cos of things like that, has gone a bit the other way.”
When asked in an interview Lennon was very candid about his friendship with McCartney, describing how they collaborated on songs he said: “ Paul provided a lightness, an optimism, while I would always go for the sadness, the discords, the bluesy notes. There was a period when I thought I didn’t write melodies, that Paul wrote those, and I just wrote straight, shouting rock ‘n’ roll. But, of course, when I think of some of my own songs—’In My Life’, or some of the early stuff, ‘This Boy’—I was writing melody with the best of them.”