In tandem with John Lennon, musician Paul McCartney is responsible for composing most of the songs in the nine-year history of the Beatles. While still a member of the group, McCartney wrote the score for the 1966 film The Family Way; it would be his last solo gig until the Beatles' breakup in 1970. So prolific and popular was McCartney in his post-Beatles years that it became a standard joke amongst post-postwar kids to query "You mean that Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?" Also grist for the humor mill was McCartney's incredible wealth; his legal ownership of virtually every song ever written (including such state anthems as "On Wisconsin"); and the strict vegetarian edicts of his wife and business partner Linda Eastman McCartney. Paul McCartney has also kept active in the film world, penning the theme for the 1973 James Bond flick Live And Let Die, and producing, scoring and acting in the 1984 vanity project Give My Regards to Broad Street, in which viewers were offered the unlikely premise that McCartney would face bankruptcy if he didn't locate a lost record album.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- His mother died from breast cancer when he was 14; the same disease would later claim the life of his first wife, Linda.
- Joined John Lennon's band, the Quarrymen, in 1957.
- Says he wrote the 1965 classic "Yesterday," the most covered song of all time, after having awakened with its melody in his head; he originally called it "Scrambled Eggs."
- Was inspired by the Beach Boys' classic album Pet Sounds to help create what became the Beatles' 1967 masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- Is very active in charitable work, most notably in support of animal rights and vegetarianism.
- Was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997; he later named a Companion of the Order of Companions of Honour in 2017.
- Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Beatle and as a solo artist.
- Is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Successful Songwriter of All Time.