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2 September 2014
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Paul McCartney by Harry Goodwin, 1965
Photographed during The Beatles' appearance on Top of the Pops in 1965
© Harry Goodwin
Loaned by the National Portrait Gallery

Biography: Sir Paul McCartney

From the very first time Macca uttered the immortal Beatles lyrics to Love Me Do it seems the whole world has taken him up on the offer.

One of Liverpool’s most treasured sons, McCartney was born in 1942. He met John Lennon at a church fete 15 years later and their musical partnership was born. From 1963 to 1970 The Beatles rocked the world, revolutionising pop music and making bowl haircuts cool.

He has continued to stun fans since The Beatles split, with Wings, classical albums, solo hits and other arty offerings, from poetry to paintings.

His recent split with Heather Mills means he’s daily headline news, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever topple off his pedestal.

Renowned For

McCartney is the master of penning pop tunes. He’s even managed to score colossal hits with dubiously sentimental songs, such as Mull of Kintyre or his bizarre frog chorus collaboration, We All Stand Together.

Cultural Impact

McCartney has been heralded as the most successful popular music composer ever. He was knighted in 1997 and has scooped a plethora of other awards. Without The Beatles, Britpop would never have happened.

He has ploughed hordes of cash and time into worthy causes from animal rights to his performing arts school LIPA.

In His Own Words

"There are only four people who knew what The Beatles were about."

Pub Quiz Trivia

In 1995 Macca and Linda appeared in The Simpsons to assist Lisa Simpson’s conversion to vegetarianism.
Katie Melua
He is the only surviving songwriter member of the Beatles who inspired so many generations with their music. He took British culture, with the Beatles, to America and the rest of the world. And he is such a good person with a lot of humanity and belief in what he does.

Katie Melua


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