Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE was born on 18 June 1942 in Liverpool England, is an English singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, entrepreneur, record and film producer, poet, painter, and animal rights and peace activist. His mother, Mary, had worked as a nurse in the maternity ward . He has one brother, Michael. McCartney was baptised Roman Catholic but was raised non-denominationally: his mother was Roman Catholic and his father James, or “Jim” McCartney, was a Protestant turned agnostic.
In 1947 he began attending Stockton Wood Road Primary school. He then attended the Joseph Williams Junior School and passed the 11-plus exam in 1953 with three others out of the 90 examinees, thus gaining admission to the Liverpool Institute. In 1954 while taking the bus from his home in the suburb of Speke to the Institute, he met George Harrison, who lived nearby. Passing the exam meant that McCartney and Harrison could go to a Grammar school rather than a secondary modern school, which the majority of pupils attended until they were eligible to work, but as Grammar school pupils they had to find new friends.
Formerly of The Beatles and Wings, according to Guinness World Records McCartney is the most successful songwriter in the history of popular music. McCartney gained worldwide fame as a member of The Beatles, alongside John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. McCartney and Lennon formed one of the most influential and successful songwriting partnerships and wrote some of the most popular songs in the history of rock music. After leaving The Beatles, McCartney launched a successful solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda Eastman, and singer-songwriter Denny Laine. McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the “most successful musician and composer in popular music history”, with 60 gold discs and sales of 100 million singles in the UK.
BBC News named his song “Yesterday” the most covered song in history—by over 2,200 artists—and, according to the BBC has been played more than 7,000,000 times on American television and radio. Wings’ 1977 single “Mull of Kintyre” became the first single to sell more than two million copies in the UK, and remains the UK’s top selling non-charity single. Based on the 93 weeks his compositions have spent at the top spot of the UK chart, and 24 number one singles to his credit, McCartney is the most successful songwriter in UK singles chart history. As a performer or songwriter, McCartney was responsible for 32 number one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has sold 15.5 million RIAA certified albums in the US alone.
McCartney has worked on film scores and classical and electronic music, released a large catalogue of songs as a solo artist, and taken part in projects to help international charities. He is an advocate for animal rights, vegetarianism, and music education; he is active in campaigns against landmines, seal hunting, and Third World debt. He is a keen football fan, supporting both Everton and Liverpool football clubs. His company MPL Communications owns the copyrights to more than 3,000 songs, including all of the songs written by Buddy Holly, along with the publishing rights to such musicals as Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, and Grease. McCartney is one of Britain’s wealthiest men, with an estimated fortune of £750 million ($1.2 billion) in 2009.