At the age of 25, Paul McCartney imagined himself enjoying a quiet retirement in “When I’m Sixty Four”. But the still hyperactive British pop legend is still performing at 80 – a week after his milestone birthday this Saturday in Glastonbury.
He will then be the oldest headliner in the history of this legendary festival, which attracts tens of thousands of people to the South West of England. “The crowds at Glastonbury have always reminded me of the scenery of a medieval battle,” McCartney tweeted in late March.
McCartney was still on American stages as of Thursday of this week. For a month and a half, the ex-Beatle was on a US tour, which he called “Got Back Tour”.
McCartney has been performing as a solo artist for over 50 years and has only had to take a break during the Covid-19 pandemic. He retired to his farm in south-east England with his family, his daughter Mary and four of his eight grandchildren.
The Corona break was used in many ways
However, he used the time to record the album “McCartney III” at home, which was released in December 2020 and reached number 1 in the British charts.
The following year he recorded a new version of the album with a range of artists, published a book about his career – The Lyrics – a vegan cookbook and a story for children. Meanwhile, the Disney Plus streaming service released McCartney 3,2,1, a series of interviews with producer Rick Rubin and Peter Jackson’s documentary The Beatles: Get Back.
From the simplest of circumstances to the biggest pop star
James Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool in 1942 into a humble family. His mother, a midwife, died when he was 14 years old. The following year he met John Lennon and played with him in The Quarrymen, who later became The Beatles with George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
The four boys triggered hysteria among the fans – the “Beatlemania” broke out over the world. Together with John Lennon, McCartney wrote huge hits: “Hey Jude”, “Penny Lane” and of course “Yesterday”.
But the childhood friendship fell apart. The shooting of “Let It Be”, based on the album of the same name, heralds the end of the “Fab Four” on April 10, 1970, much to the desperation of their fans.
After the Beatles with the Wings – and three women
McCartney formed the band Wings, along with his wife, photographer Linda Eastman, on keyboards. With her, the former LSD fan becomes a family man and vegetarian. The couple are raising four children: Mary, Stella – now a fashion designer – James and Heather, who is from Linda’s previous marriage. After 29 years of marriage, Linda died of breast cancer in 1998.
Heartbroken, McCartney devoted himself to good causes: environmental, animal and human rights. He tried his hand at classical music, painting and sculpture.
From knight to lord?
Paul McCartney has received numerous awards over the course of his successful career, including 18 Grammy Awards. In 1997 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Rumor has it that he could soon be made “Lord” in further recognition of the cultural imprint left by the prolific singer-songwriter.
He met former model Heather Mills, who had part of her leg amputated following an accident, and married her in 2002. They had one daughter, Beatrice, before their hilarious divorce in 2008. In October 2011, Paul McCartney married American Nancy Shevell, heiress to a wealthy American entrepreneur. The Sunday Times put the couple’s net worth at £865 million (over a billion Swiss francs).
Of the four Beatles, only he and Ringo Starr, who is also still touring at the age of 81, are still alive.