Paul McCartney (June 18, 1942)
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He originally played guitar for The Beatles, he switched to bass when Stu Sutcliffe left. John Lennon and George Harrison both refused to switch from guitar.
McCartney is the wealthiest rock star ever. His estimated worth over $1.5 Billion, and He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful musician and contemporary songwriter in history. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France and Tyler Durden - Paper Street, MI)
As a youngster, he loved old songs and show tunes.
He was married to Heather Mills, a former swimwear model and disabled-rights activist. Her leg was amputated below the knee in 1993 after she was hit by a police motorcycle. They divorced in 2006 - until then he was the only Beatle never to get divorced.
His mother Mary and wife Linda both died of breast cancer.
He handled logistics for The Beatles when their manager Brian Epstein died of a sleeping pill overdose in 1967.
McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. His official title is "Sir" Paul McCartney.
In 1980, he spent 10 days in a Tokyo jail when he was caught at customs with a half-pound of marijuana. Said McCartney: "I knew I wouldn't be able to get anything to smoke over there. This stuff was too good to flush down the toilet, so I thought I'd take it with me." It was a life-changing event for McCartney, who broke up his band Wings soon after.
He enjoys painting, and has finished over 500 paintings.
His daughter Stella is a talented fashion designer.
He appeared on an episode of The Simpsons where he helps Lisa become a vegetarian.
McCartney is known for the "There are seven levels" controversy. When he and the other Beatles first started to experiment with drugs, McCartney got high one night and experienced a hallucination that he had to write down. When he awoke the next morning, he couldn't make heads or tails of what he had written down: "There are seven levels." Later research shows that there are seven philosophical levels of energy in the body, called Chakras. Was McCartney seeing the body's energies? (thanks, Kyle - Boonville, IN)
When the World Trade Center was hit on September 11, 2001, he was on a plane in New York about to take off. He stayed in New York that week and helped organize a benefit concert for victims of the tragedy the next month.
He is so strict about his vegetarianism that he insists his crew not eat meat either, at least while on the road with him. True to his vegan lifestyle, in the rider for his 2002 World Tour McCartney forbids meat and meat products to be served in the backstage area, as well as rooms to be set with furniture made of any animal skin or print even if it's artificial. He even demands a limousine with no leather seating. The ex-Beatles also has a rather detailed requirement about plants in the dressing rooms: "plants that are just as full on the bottom as the top such as palm, bamboo, peace lilies, etc. No tree trunks!"
In 1976, he bought the rights to all of Buddy Holly's music. He does not own the publishing rights to most of The Beatles songs because Michael Jackson outbid him for them.
His birth certificate garnered $20,000 at an auction.
When the Beatles were breaking up in late 1969, Paul thought he was through as a recording artist. It never occurred to him to record as a solo artist or form a new band. It was his wife, Linda, who encouraged him to continue with making music. Paul has said that she used "tough love" to tell him to stop feeling sorry for himself and to make more music. (thanks, Ken - Louisville, KY)
In the late '60s, rumors abounded that McCartney had died in a car crash and was replaced by a look-a-like. Some Beatles fans found innumerous clues in song lyrics and album covers to support the theory. (thanks, Vickie - Sao Paulo, Brazil)
In 2007, McCartney released his album Memory Almost Full
on the Hear Music label, a joint venture of Starbucks and the Concord Music Group. David Kahne, who produced Kelly Clarkson's hit single "Never Again
," worked on the album. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
While there aren't official statistics to prove it, McCartney has probably collaborated with more artists than any other. Some of the many musicians he's collaborated with include Michael Jackson, Carl Perkins, Stevie Wonder and Stanley Clarke. (thanks, Green Puppet - Calgary, Canada)
On March 17, 2008, Heather Mills was awarded 23.7 million pounds (about $47 million) in their divorce. Mills asked for much more, but wound up with more than the $32 million Paul had proposed. Mills was vilified in the British press for being opportunistic. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
September 25, 2008 he played a show in Tel Aviv, his first concert in Israel. In 1965, The Beatles were scheduled to tour Israel, but their visas were canceled along with the tour. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
When he first toured with his band Wings, he refused to play any Beatles songs. In later years, he included lots of Beatles tunes in his sets, and even used John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance
" at many of his shows.
Paul was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Once in 1988 as a member of The Beatles and in 1999 as a solo artist. (thanks, Rosy - Faribault, MN)
His concert on April 21, 1990 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio set a new world record for attendance at a concert by a single artist when it drew 184,000 people. It was the last stop on his tour. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)
The former Metallica bassist talks about his first time writing a song with James Hetfield, and how a hand-me-down iPad has changed his songwriting.
Mark Arm of Mudhoney
When he was asked to write a song for the Singles
soundtrack, Mark thought the Seattle grunge scene was already overblown, so that's what he wrote about.