Sir Paul McCartney turns 80 on Saturday and will take to the stage next week as Glastonbury’s longest-serving solo headliner.
The Beatles singer, songwriter and legend had a career spanning over 60 years as one of the most famous stars in the British music industry. His accomplishments include being part of the most influential pop group of all time, writing one of the most covered songs, Yesterday, which has been redone by over 2,000 artists, and winning a trophy cabinet full of awards.
Born in Liverpool in 1942, Sir Paul met George Harrison at school and, aged 15, met John Lennon and his skiffle band The Quarrymen at a church party and was invited to to join. Sir Paul and Lennon then parted ways, Harrison joining them with Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums.
The group was called The Beatles – the name intended as a tribute to Buddy Holly’s backing band The Crickets – and when Sutcliffe left the group in 1961, Sir Paul took over on bass. In 1962, Sir Ringo Starr replaced Best on drums.
Brian Epstein signed the Beatles in 1962 and they had their first hit with Love Me Do later that year. Over the next seven years, the Beatles enjoyed hits with songs such as Hey Jude, She Loves You, Twist And Shout and All You Need Is Love until their split in 1970.
Sir Paul then formed a band, Wings, with his wife Linda as one of the members. Wings went on to have hits with songs such as Live And Let Die and Mull Of Kintyre, before breaking up in 1981.
The singer’s solo career has included high-profile collaborations including Ebony And Ivory with Stevie Wonder, The Girl Is Mine with Michael Jackson and, most recently, 2015’s FourFive Seconds with Kanye West and Rihanna. In 2018, Sir Paul earned his first number one album in the US on the Billboard chart for 36 years, with his 18th solo studio album Egypt Station powering former rapper Eminem’s Kamikaze. And in the UK, 2020’s McCartney III gave it its first UK number since 1989’s Flowers in the Dirt.
During his career, Sir Paul’s accolades have included 18 competitive Grammys, an OBE and two inductions into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. In 2017 he was made a member of the Order of Companions of Honor – a special award given to those who have made a major contribution to the arts, sciences, medicine or government.
His first wife Linda died in 1998 and he married Heather Mills in 2002. They separated in 2006 and divorced in 2008. He has been married to Nancy Shevell since 2011. He is the father of five children.
For more stories of where you live, visit In your region.