Biographic by Steve McGarry for April 29, 2007
Paul McCartney Born in Liverpool, England, on June 18 1942, Sir James Paul McCartney is the most successful musician and composer in the history of popular music. He was still a schoolboy when he teamed up with local lads John Lennon and George Harrison to play rock & Roll in the group that would eventually become the Beatles. They honed their skills in the coffee bars of Liverpool and the nightclubs of Hamburg, Germany, Jettisoning Stu Stucliffe and Pete Best along the way, and completing the line-up with drummer Ringo Star. The Beatles first hit in the U.K charts in late 1962. Within two years, the group was a global phenomenon, revolutionizing pop music and changing the face of popular culture. The band's success was unprecedented. Movies, merchandise and the most innovative music of all time made the "Fab Four" the most famous young men on the planet. But by the end of these decade, business pressures, musical differences and life in a goldfish bowl had taken a toll. The Beatles had grown up, grown apart... and in 1970, the world's front pages announced the group's break-up. Paul was now a family man, having married New York photographer Linda East Man. She began to collaborate with him on music, and so in 1972, when he found himself yearning for the camaraderie of a band once more, he conscripted her into the line-up of his new group. Wings became one of the most successful acts of the 1970s. Paul disbanded the group in 1981, but throughout the next two decades, with Linda at his side, he continued to make music. He also dabbled in everything from movies to painting, and his publishing company owns the rights to over 3,000 songs, from the Buddy Holly catalog to "Grease" tragedy struck in 1998 when cancer took Linda's life. After a long period of mourning, Paul resurfaced, and continues to record and perform throughout the world. A short-lived marriage to HeatherMills has provided tabloid fodder. Awarded Britian's M.B.E medal in 1965, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1997.