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Paul McCartney is a former member of the Beatles and one of the most popular solo performers of all time.
John Lennon - Mini Biography (7:55)
Paul McCartney's work with the Beatles in the 1960s helped lift popular music from its origins in the entertainment business and transform it into a creative, highly commercial art form.
Rolling Stone's David Wild and People Magazine's JD Heyman discuss the tough start of Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman?s relationship.
Watch a short video about John Lennon and Yoko Ono to learn how the creative couple met and made sweet music together.
A short biography of John Lennon, from his superstardom with the Beatles to his fame as a solo artist and social activist, to his marriage to Yoko Ono. In 1980, Lennon was gunned down by Mark David Chapman.
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From 1962 to '70, the group released 12 hit studio albums, touring almost constantly, before disbanding.
The Beatles disbanded in 1970, breaking fans' hearts worldwide. However, 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 though critics' reactions were mixed, the album was a hit with the public. Encouraged, McCartney went on to form Wings, a band that would remain popular throughout the '70s, winning two Grammy Awards and churning out multiple hit singles.
In 1969, McCartney married Linda Eastman, an American photographer who would serve as her husband's 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. He continued to play and record new music, however, collaborating with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. In the '90s, McCartney worked with former bandmates Harrison and Starr on The Beatles Anthology documentary series.
In 2012, McCartney released Kisses on the Bottom, which featured renditions of some of his favorite songs from childhood, including classics like "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "My Valentine." McCartney made headlines later that year, after performing with fellow rocker Bruce Springsteen at London's Hyde Park. The two legendary rock musicians even performed two Beatles hits together: "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout." Unfortunately, this impressive live jam was cut short by the authorities: When the concert exceeded its scheduled end time, both Springsteen's and McCartney's microphones were turned off by event organizers.
More recently, McCartney signed on to headline the 2013 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, a four-day event held annually in Manchester, Tennessee. Other performers named to the event's lineup include Tom Petty, Billy Idol, John Oates of Hall & Oates, Jeff Tweedy and Björk.
McCartney is inarguably pop music royalty. For his contributions to global rock 'n' roll culture, he has been knighted, named a fellow at the Royal College of Music, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, among various other honors.
Tragedy struck in 1998, when McCartney's wife of 29 years, Linda McCartney, died after a long battle with cancer. Four years later, the musician married Heather Mills, a former model and anti-landmine activist. They welcomed a daughter, Beatrice, in 2003. Amid much press scrutiny and intense animosity, McCartney and Mills parted ways in 2006. He married for the third time, to New York businesswoman Nancy Shevell, in October 2011, in London.
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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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