In the early 1960s, a teenaged Paul McCartney embarked on a journey of world domination with three other blokes from his native England – John, George, and Ringo. Their story has become a modern gospel among all fans of popular music, and has served as the quintessential model for aspiring musicians that music can change the world (and quite possibly even save it). McCartney’s ten years with The Beatles remains one of the most significant and richest periods of creativity in modern music. This era saw the creation of songs like “Let it Be,” “Hey Jude,” and “Yesterday,” the most often-covered song in history. This is, of course, merely scratching the surface. After the Beatles, McCartney maintained a highly successful musical career for each of the decades to follow, notably in the band Wings and as a solo artist. Guinness World Records considers Paul McCartney to be the most successful composer and recording artist of all time. His 60 gold records, 100 million albums sold, and countless other artistic achievements make this designation difficult to argue with.
McCartney will always be remembered best for the songs he put out into the world, but the direct actions he has so frequently taken to help others in need have made him one of the truly great leaders in activism and humanitarian efforts. He has performed for countless charitable events and international music festivals, notably Band Aid, Live Aid, and the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea. He has donated music recordings to offer aid to Burma and victims of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. He served as a symbol of both national pride and worldwide unity in his performance at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. McCartney has also taken the lead to both unite and provide hope during times of struggle. After witnessing the September 11, 2001 attacks from JFK airport, McCartney organized the Concert for New York City. Outside of his music, McCartney has been a steadfast and outspoken proponent of animal rights, activism to clean out minefields, essential as well as developmental support for the poor, and the expansion of music education and community arts programs. In 2012, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences named McCartney the MusiCares Person of the Year.
Paul McCartney has been helping to shape the face of popular music for the past six decades. He continues to innovate, collaborate, and inspire, touring the globe with the drive, urgency, and purpose of a much younger man. His passion for music and connecting with audiences is the engine behind a mind that continues to show how music can be fun and important, catchy and moving, personal and unifying – all at the same time.