It was on this day, June 18, 1942, English musician, singer-songwriter and composer and one half of the greatest song-writing teams in history was born. Sir James Paul McCartney, with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles and with Lennon formed one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.
Following the band’s break-up, he began a solo career and later formed the group Wings with his first wife Linda Eastman and singer-songwriter Denny Laine.
McCartney has been described by Guinness World Records as the “most successful composer and recording artist of all time”, with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million albums and 100 million singles, and “the most successful songwriter” in UK chart history. His Beatles song “Yesterday” has been covered by over 2,200 artists—more than any other song in the history of recorded music.
McCartney has composed film scores, classical and electronic music and has released a large catalog of songs as a solo artist.
He has taken part in projects to help international charities, been an advocate for animal rights, vegetarianism and music education, campaigned against landmines and seal hunting and supported efforts such as Make Poverty History.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Beatles January 20, 1988. Citing business differences, he did not attend the induction ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City with his former bandmates George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Awarded the Polar Music Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music Award, in 1992. Winner of the Sony Award For Technical Excellence in 1983. Winner of the British Phonographic Industry Award for British Male Solo Artist in 1983. Named “Man of the Year” at the GQ awards ceremony. (6 September 2006)
Winner of the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution in 2008. The Beatles previously won the award in 1977 and 1983, putting McCartney in a select group with John Lennon, Sting and Freddie Mercury as the only people to have won the award in a band and as an individual.
The only member of The Beatles to have been nominated for an Academy Award in his own right.
1904 – Keye Luke (actor: Alice, Kung Fu; Charlie Chan’s #1 son; died Jan 12, 1991)
1917 – Richard (Allen) Boone (actor: Have Gun Will Travel, Winter Kills, The Robe, Rio Conchos, Ten Wanted Men, The War Lord, Big Jake; died Jan 10, 1981)
1920 – Ian Carmichael (actor: Dark Obsession, Heavens Above; died Feb 5, 2010)
1925 – Robert Arthur (Arthaud) (actor: Naked Youth, Hellcats of the Navy, The Ring, September Affair; died Oct 1, 2008)
1928 – Maggie McNamara (actress: The Cardinal, Three Coins in the Fountain, The Moon is Blue; died Feb 18, 1978)
1956 – Brian Benben (actor: The Brian Benben Show, Family Business, Radioland Murders)