From his days as a member of the world's most legendary and iconic rock band to a highly successful solo career, Sir Paul McCartney continues to prove that he is truly rock royalty. Paul James McCartney was born on June 19, 1942 in Liverpool, England. When he was 15, he met John Lennon and later joined his band The Quarrymen. The band, with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, eventually became The Beatles. From 1960 to 1970, the band became the one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over a billion records worldwide. The songwriting partnership of Lennon and McCartney is one of the best-known and most successful musical collaborations of all time and together they wrote some of rock music's most famous songs, from 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' to 'Hey Jude.' After the band broke up, Paul embarked on a solo career, releasing his debut album, McCartney, in April of 1970. The album was noteworthy not only because it contained the beautiful 'Maybe I'm Amazed,' but because Paul played all of the instruments and provided almost all of the vocals himself. His wife, photographer Linda (Eastman) McCartney, whom he married in 1969, provided some backing vocals. A second album, Ram was released in 1971, before Paul formed the band Wings with Linda, guitarist Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell. Their first album, Wild Life was released in December of 1971, receiving a lukewarm reception by audiences and critics alike. In 1973, Wings released two albums, Red Rose Speedway (which gave the band their first number one hit, 'My Love') and Band on the Run (their biggest critical success), and recorded the theme song to the James Bond film Live and Let Die. With songs like 'Silly Love Songs' and 'Let Him In', Wings ruled the charts in the 1970s but, in the 1980s, Paul went back to working as a solo act. In 1982 he released McCartney II, which featured the hit 'Coming Up.' Paul also recorded three hit duets, 'Ebony and Ivory' with Stevie Wonder and two with Michael Jackson, 'Say,Say, Say' and 'The Girl is Mine.' In 1984, Paul wrote and starred in the ambitious film Give My Regards to Broad Street. Although the film was a commercial and critical failure, the soundtrack, with the hit single 'No More Lonely Nights' wasn't. Paul continuied to score hits in the second half of the 80's and in 1989 embarked on his first North American tour in thirteen years, promoting the album Flowers in the Dirt. In the 1990s Paul tried his hand at classical music, composing the acclaimed Liverpool Oratorio in 1991. Paul has received many honors over the course of his career, in March of 1997, he was knighted as Sir Paul McCartney for his "services to music". He has twice been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1988 as a member of The Beatles and in 1999 as a solo artist. Sadly, in 1998, his wife Linda passed away from breast cancer. He married former model Heather Mills in 2002 and the two went through a very ugly divorce in 2007. He has continued to release albums and perform, with his latest effort, Memory Almost Full released through the Starbucks coffee chain in June of 2007. Paul is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history, with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million singles, and his legacy continues to live on.
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