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British vocalist, songwriter, musician, and composer, Paul McCartney was a member of the Beatles as well as one of the most popular solo performers of all time.
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From 1962 to 1970, the group released 12 hit studio albums, touring almost constantly.
The Beatles disbanded in 1970, breaking fans' hearts across the world, but McCartney had no intention of dropping out of the public eye. He was the first of The Beatles to release a solo album (McCartney, 1970), and although the reactions were mixed from a critical standpoint, the album was a hit with the public. Encouraged,
McCartney went on to form the band Wings, which would remain popular throughout the 1970s, winning two Grammy Awards and churning out multiple hit singles.
In 1969, McCartney married Linda Eastman, an American photographer, who would prove to be his muse for the next 30 years. The family had four children, Heather (Linda's daughter from a previous marriage), Mary, Stella and James.
The 1980s proved a trying time for McCartney; an arrest for marijuana possession in Japan in 1980 was followed shortly by the devastating assassination of his longtime partner and friend, John Lennon. In the wake of Lennon's death, McCartney stopped touring until 1989. However, McCartney continued to play and record new music, working in collaboration with artists like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. In the 1990s, he collaborated with former bandmates Harrison and Starr to work on The Beatles Anthology documentary series.
In 2012, McCartney released his latest album Kisses on the Bottom. He revisited some of his favorite songs from his childhood, creating his own versions of such classics as "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "My Valentine." McCartney made headlines later that year when he joined Bruce Springsteen on stage. He performed with Springsteen in London's Hyde Park that July, and together the legendary rockers performed two Beatles hits, "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout." Unfortunately, this impressive live jam was cut short by the authorities. Their microphones were turned off by the event organizers after the concert had exceeded its scheduled end time.
McCartney is undoubtedly pop music royalty. For his contributions to global rock n' roll culture, he has been knighted, honored as a Fellow at the Royal College of Music, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The former Beatle's interests extend far beyond music, and he has made successful forays into film, writing, painting, meditation, and activism. Linda McCartney passed away from cancer in 1998. In 2002, Paul married his second wife, Heather Mills, a former model and anti-landmine activist. Their daughter Beatrice was born in 2003. Amid much press scrutiny and intense animosity, the couple split in 2006. In 2011, McCartney married for the third time. He and Nancy Shevell, a New York businesswoman, tied the knot in London that October.
Despite his many business ventures and other interests, the most prolific Beatle continues touring, selling out massive arenas and showing no signs of stopping. When asked about slowing down, the rock legend said, in typical fashion, "Why would I retire? Sit at home and watch TV? No thanks. I'd rather be out playing."
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The Beatles were a legendary rock group that formed in Liverpool, England, in 1960, and went on to transform popular music as a creative, highly commercial art form over the next decade. The Beatles were one of the most popular bands of all time, producing songs like "Yesterday, "Hey Jude," "Penny Lane, "With A Little Help From My Friends," "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," "Day Tripper" and "Come Together." Learn more about the "Fab Four"—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—by exploring our Beatles collection.
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In 2002, four years after the death of his wife Linda, former Beatle Paul McCartney married model Heather Mills—without a prenuptial agreement. After having a baby, the couple separated in 2006. Mills talked to the press, and the divorce turned bitter. In 2008, Mills walked away with $50 million.
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