Happy Birthday Paul McCartney: 70 Facts About The Beatles Legend

Kevin Duggan - WODS.com

Paul McCartney turns 70 years old today (June 18). Let’s have a look back over the past 70 years of Macca’s life with 70 facts on the legendary former Beatle.

  1. Paul was born June 18, 1942 in Liverpool.
  2. His idols growing up were Elvis Presley and Little Richard.
  3. He passed the plus-11 exam in 1953 and gained admission to the Liverpool Institute. He was one of only four to pass the exam out of 90 examinees.
  4. He met George Harrison on the bus home from school in 1954.
  5. His mother passed away on October 31, 1956 when he was only 14.
  6. His father played the piano and trumpet, and encouraged Paul to get into music at a young age.
  7. Paul’s father gave him a nickel-plated trumpet for his 14th birthday, but once rock & roll took off Paul traded it for a £15 Zenith acoustic guitar.
  8. The first song he wrote was “I Lost My Little Girl’ when he was 14. The song later appeared in his 1991 album Unplugged.
  9. Paul met John Lennon and his band, the Quarrymen, when he was 15 and joined them shortly after. George Harrison would join them the following year.
  10. The band went through several band names including “Johnny and the Moondogs” and “The Silver Beetles” before becoming The Beatles in 1960.

    145724953 Happy Birthday Paul McCartney: 70 Facts About The Beatles Legend

    LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

  11. When McCartney took his A-level exams at age nineteen, art was the only subject he passed.
  12. He first met his former girlfriend and fiancée Jane Asher in 1963 after a Beatles performance, when a photographer asked them to pose together for a photo.
  13. In 1965, Paul and the other Beatles members were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth.
  14. In 1966 he sang backup vocals on Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow” and played bass on some of his album tracks.
  15. When the group’s manager Brian Epstein died in 1967, Paul took over as business manager and the band’s de facto leader.
  16. He married Linda Eastman in March 1969 and they had their first child, Mary in August. Mary was named after Paul’s mother.
  17. In October 1969 a rumor surfaced that McCartney had died in a car crash, but it was quickly proven false when a November Life magazine cover featured him and his family with the caption, “Paul is Still With Us.”
  18. He left The Beatles on April 20, 1970 after arguments stemming from the composition of their famous last album, Abbey Road.
  19. After the break-up, he released his first solo album, McCartney, in 1970.
  20. After releasing another album with his wife Linda, they formed the group Wings and released their first album in 1971.paul mccartney unplugged Happy Birthday Paul McCartney: 70 Facts About The Beatles Legend
  21. In September 1971, Paul and Linda gave birth to their second child, Stella, named after Linda’s grandmother.
  22. Their third child, James, was born in September 1977.
  23. McCartney was arrested and jailed briefly in Japan in 1980 for carrying marijuana through customs.
  24. In 1980 he released his second solo album, McCartney II. Paul composed, produced and performed all of the music himself.
  25. He took up painting in 1983, and in 1999 he first exhibited his work, featuring portraits of Lennon, Andy Warhol, and David Bowie, and included photographs by Linda.
  26. In 1984 McCartney wrote, produced, and starred in the feature film Give My Regards to Broad Street. Roger Ebert and other critics awarded it one star, but the soundtrack reached number one in the UK.
  27. He and the other members of The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
  28. He played for the largest stadium audience in history when 184,000 people paid to see him perform at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 21, 1990.
  29. In 1991, McCartney ventured into orchestral music, when the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society commissioned a musical piece by him to celebrate its sesquicentennial.
  30. In 1994 he took a four-year hiatus from his solo career to work on Apple’s The Beatles Anthology project with Harrison, Starr and Martin.

    139079666 Happy Birthday Paul McCartney: 70 Facts About The Beatles Legend

    (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy)

  31. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship to the Royal College of Music by Prince Charles in 1995.
  32. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in March 1997.
  33. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 as a solo performer.
  34. In May 2000, he was awarded a Fellowship by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
  35. Paul was made an honorary detective by NY Police for the benefit concert he gave for 9/11 victims in April 2002.
  36. After Linda’s death in 1998, he married Heather Mills in 2002 and they had their first child, Beatrice Lilly, in 2003 before separating in 2006.
  37. He performed the Super Bowl XXXIX half-time show in February 2005.
  38. In July 2005 he was involved with the fastest-released single in history when his performance of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with U2 at Live 8 was released before the concert was over. The single reached number six on the Billboard charts just hours after the single’s release, and hit number one on numerous online download charts across the world.
  39. Paul was named “Man of the Year” at the GQ awards ceremony in 2006.
  40. In 2008 he became an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London.51094700 81 Happy Birthday Paul McCartney: 70 Facts About The Beatles Legend
  41. In 2008 he also received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University.
  42. In 2010 he was honored by President Barack Obama with the Gershwin Prize for his contributions to popular music.
  43. In 2011 he married New Yorker, Nancy Shevell.
  44. He is left-handed.
  45. His song “Yesterday” has been covered by over 2,200 artists, more than any other song ever.
  46. Guinness World Records calls McCartney “The Most Successful Composer and Recording Artist of All Time”
  47. There is an asteroid “4148 McCartney” named in his honor.
  48. He has sold over 100 million albums and 100 million singles worldwide and been given writer’s credit on 43 other singles which sold over a million copies each.
  49. He has written 129 different songs to make the UK singles chart. 91 of them made the top 10 and 33 reached #1.
  50. As a member of the Beatles, he was awarded 6 Diamond albums, as well as 24 Multi-Platinum albums, 39 Platinum albums and 45 Gold albums in the United States.

    138842398 8 Happy Birthday Paul McCartney: 70 Facts About The Beatles Legend

    (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  51. His songs have spent over 1,600 weeks on the UK singles chart.
  52. He is included in 31 number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
  53. He is the only artist to reach the UK number one as a soloist (“Pipes of Peace”), duo (“Ebony and Ivory” with Stevie Wonder), trio (“Mull of Kintyre”, Wings), quartet (“She Loves You”, the Beatles), quintet (“Get Back”, the Beatles with Billy Preston), and as part of a musical ensemble for charity (Ferry Aid).
  54. McCartney is one of the UK’s wealthiest people, with an estimated fortune of £475 million in 2010.
  55. He is an activist for vegetarianism, animal rights and music education, as well as campaigning against seal hunting and land mines.
  56. He became the first rock musician ever to receive Chile’s Order of Merit for “services to music, peace, and human understanding.”
  57. He has won 13 Grammy Awards.
  58. Paul and the other members of the Beatles could not read music.
  59. His song, “When I’m 64” was written for his father Jim on his 64th birthday.
  60. He has released 24 albums as a solo artist and 11 with his group, Wings, since the breakup of the Beatles in 1970.

    138729679 81 Happy Birthday Paul McCartney: 70 Facts About The Beatles Legend

    (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  61. Paul wrote “Hey Jude” for Julian Lennon after his father John’s divorce from Cynthia. The original title was “Hey Julian.”
  62. Paul originally played guitar for The Beatles, but reluctantly switched to bass after Stu Sutcliffe left the band while John and George refused to switch.
  63. Paul’s nickname “Macca” came from John Lennon and is a take on the shortened British pronunciation of McCartney.
  64. His daughter Stella is a successful fashion designer.
  65. He owns the rights to all of Buddy Holly’s music, but not The Beatles.
  66. Paul’s birth certificate sold at auction for $18,000.
  67. He watched the 9/11 tragedy unfold from JFK Airport not far away. He then stayed in New York to help organize a benefit concert.
  68. He appears in an episode of The Simpsons in which he helps Lisa become a vegetarian.
  69. McCartney takes his vegetarianism so seriously that he often does not let his crew eat meat either when they are on the road.
  70. Paul and The Beatles spent time in India learning Transcendental Meditation. Their time spent there was very productive; almost all of the songs on Abbey Road and The White Album were composed there.

Any interesting facts about Paul McCartney that we left out? Let us know and wish Macca a happy 70th birthday in the comments.

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