Paul McCartney: Former Beatle turns 70 years old

(EndPlay Staff Reports) - Paul McCartney, whose music has attracted fans for half a century, turns 70 today.

McCartney performed with the Beatles in the 1960s before starting the band Wings and launching his own successful solo career. stated that he is one of the most popular solo performers in both sales of his work and attendance at his concerts.

Born in 1942, he was the son of a maternity nurse and a cotton salesman who played jazz with a local band. He started young, mostly learning by ear as he studied the Spanish guitar, trumpet and piano.

He met John Lennon at a church festival and joined Lennon's band The Quarrymen before it became The Beatles in 1960.

The band helped kick off the musical "British invasion" of American culture with McCartney as its bassist. The Beatles would have more hits written by him than by others with songs like "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude" before breaking up in 1970, according to

McCartney formed the band Wings in 1971 with his first wife Linda, who died of breast cancer in 1998. After her death he became a solo artist.

"If the Queen is an embodiment of one sort of Britain, McCartney is the embodiment of another, the egalitarian achieving social democratic optimism of the 1960s," the UK Guardian wrote. "From 'Love Me Do' right through to Abbey Road's 'The End,' his songs say I love you and I want you to love me – a better philosophy than much that came later, not just in music."

At 70 he isn't slowing down much. He just headlined Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee concert and will headline the London Olympics ceremony next month.

The Beatles remains the best-selling band in history, having sold more than a billion discs and tapes. McCartney, with his work with the bands and his solo career, has written or co-written more than 50 top 10 singles.

Some other top Beatles songs written by McCartney include "Yesterday," "Let It Be," "Paperback Writer," "When I'm Sixty-Four," "Back In The U.S.S.R." and "Eleanor Rigby."

Some of his solo hits, as shared by the Pop Matters blog, include "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Every Night," and "Fine Line."

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