Paul McCartney

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Paul McCartney (1942- ) first rose to fame as a bassist, pianist, guitarist, singer and songwriter for The Beatles. He wrote many ballads with John Lennon, though they rarely wrote a song together; rather, one of them would write most of it and the other would finish it or make a few key changes; their partnership was more a competition than a collaboration.

One of McCartney's greatest songs, covered by any number of artists, is the poignant ballad "Yesterday." McCartney conceived the melody in a dream, (coupled with the lyric "Scrambled Eggs / Oh my darling you've got lovely legs") and was not sure for some time that it was original.

Whilst involved in a long term relationship with actress Jane Asher, McCartney met and fell in love with Linda Eastman, a photojournalist; he and Jane split and Paul married Linda in 1969, while still a member of The Beatles.

After The Beatles broke up, Paul started the band "Wings" and produced a number of notable singles, including "Band on the Run," "Uncle Albert," "Live and Let Die," and "Listen To What The Man Said"; he insisted that Linda be in his band, in spite of her insistence that she was not talented enough, so they did not have to be apart while he toured. After hearing Linda sing, many of Paul's fans seconded her opinion.

Paul and his wife became outspoken vegetarians and animal-rights activists after owning cattle and watching it outside the window as they cooked and ate meat; in 1991, Linda introduced her own line of vegetarian meals to the general market.

In 1995, Paul, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr released the first of The Beatles' Anthology albums, consisting of alternate takes and live recordings of Beatles songs; volumes two and three were released the next year. In 1997, Paul was knighted by the Queen of England and in 1999 was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist (he was inducted with the rest of the Beatles in 1988).

After Linda's death in 1998, Paul pledged to continue her line of food and keep it free from GMOs. Paul continues to release albums, as well as campaign for the groups Greenpeace and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, among others. Paul and Linda had three children - one, Stella McCartney, is a noted fashion designer.

In 2001, he announced his engagement to Heather Mills, a former model and anti-landmines campaigner.