Sir Paul McCartney, one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history, turns 76 on June 18, 2018. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician.
The music legend was knighted over two decades ago, but in May 2018, he received an additional honor from the Queen of England: a Companion of Honor award for his outstanding achievements in music.
Paul McCartney in the 1960s
Filed 1963-London, England: Head and shoulders of Beatles’ bassist Paul McCartney. He is wearing a tweed jacket and a tie.
LONDON – 30th DECEMBER: Paul McCartney and John Lennon (1940-1980) from The Beatles posed backstage at the Finsbury Park Astoria, London during the band’s Christmas Show residency on 30th December 1963. (Photo by Val Wilmer/Redferns)
The Beatles in 1965. The Beatles – John Lennon (1940-1980), Paul McCartney (born 1942) George Harrison (born 1943) and Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey, 1940) – were one of the most creative and successful rock groups of the century. The Beatles formed in 1961 and disbanded in 1970 after a string of hit songs and critically acclaimed albums. (Photo by Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis via Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL – CIRCA 1962: Rock and roll band ‘The Beatles’ pose for a portrait in circa 1962. (L-R) Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
The Beatles, early group portrait, (L-R) Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison – posed, backstage, 1962. (Photo by Harry Hammond/V&A Images/Getty Images)
HAMBURG, GERMANY – 1st MAY: The Beatles posed in Hamburg, Germany during their residency at The Star Club in May 1962. Left to right: Pete Best, John Lennon (1940-1980), Paul McCartney and George Harrison (1943-2001). (Photo by Horst Fascher/K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 2000: Photo of BEATLES; Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney – receiving Variety Club ‘Show Business Personalities of 1963’ awards (Photo by John Rodgers/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 15: THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS Photo of Paul McCARTNEY and BEATLES, of The Beatles, performing at Alpha Television Studios, Aston, Birmingham (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
The Beatles sign autographs for a young fan after concert at the Odeon in Southend-on-Sea, Autumn 1963 UK Tour, 9th December 1963. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
26th October 1965: British pop group The Beatles, from left to right; Ringo Starr, John Lennon (1940 – 1980), Paul McCartney and George Harrison (1943 – 2001), outside Buckingham Palace, London, after receiving their MBE’s (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Portland, Ore.: John Lennon (right) smiles as Paul McCartney speaks at press conference held after Beatles performance in Portland.
OBERTAUERN AUSTRIA – MARCH 1965: Paul McCartney of the rock and roll band ‘The Beatles’ poses for a photo in the snow in March 1965 in Obertauern, Austria during a break from filming their second movie HELP!. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
Beatles singer and songwriter Paul McCartney wearing a straw hat while filming ‘Help’ in The Bahamas, 2nd March 1965. (Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images)
Members of the British rock band The Beatles, Paul McCartney (left) and John Lennon (1940 – 1980), sing into a microphone as they play their instruments at the taping of a segment for ‘Toast of the Town,’ the CBS variety program hosted by Ed Sullivan, New York, August 14, 1965. The segment aired as part of Sullivan’s 19th season opener on September 12, 1965. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM – SEPTEMBER 12: Photo of MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR and Paul McCARTNEY and BEATLES; Paul McCartney next to the Magical Mystery Tour coach (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM : Caption reads: ‘Why has Beatle Paul got his eyes shut? – he’s meditating’. Paul McCartney (1942-) formed the Beatles in 1960 with John Lennon (1940-1980), George Harrison (1943-2001) and Ringo Starr (1940-) in Liverpool, England. They went on to become the most successful pop group of all time and finally split in 1970. Paul McCartney subsequently went on to form Wings with his wife Linda, as well as having a successful solo career. McCartney was awarded a knighthood in 1997. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
Paul McCartney and girlfriend Jane Asher. June 1968 Y5673-008 (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
English musician, singer, songwriter, and composer Paul McCartney records the Lennon-McCartney composition ‘Thingumybob’ with the Black Dyke Mills Band in Saltaire, City of Bradford, West Yorkshire, 30th June 1968. (Photo by Tony Evans/Timelapse Library Ltd./Getty Images)
English musician, singer, and songwriter Paul McCartney marries American musician and photographer Linda Eastman (1941 – 1998) at Marylebone Registery Office, London, 12th March 1969. (Photo by C. Maher/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM – SEPTEMBER 25: Photo of Paul McCARTNEY and BEATLES; Paul McCartney at the opening of ‘Midnight Cowboy (Photo by Andrew Maclear/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 12: Wedding of Paul McCartney with American photographer Linda Eastman at the Marylebone register office on March 12, 1969 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM – JANUARY 01: Photo of Paul McCARTNEY and BEATLES; Portrait of Paul McCartney, circa 1968 / 1969 (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He is the richest musician in the U.K. as of May 2018, The Sunday Times reported, and in 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year.
He has embarked on multiple national and international tours since 1972, as well as an impressive array of other single-night appearances, concerts, benefits and specials, including Live Aid and Super Bowl XXXIX. According to TheRichest, which tracks celebrity earnings, his 2002 tour grossed $126 million. His tour in 2010 sold $93 million worth of tickets. In 2014, he earned $71 million, and in 2016, he earned $56.5 million.
In the summer of 2017, McCartney embarked on a tour that included performances in 15 cities across the United States and four in Brazil. And in May 2018, it was announced that McCartney would be headlining the Austin City Limits music festival in October. Clearly, this billionaire musician isn’t considering retiring anytime soon.
Paul McCartney and the Beatles
By the middle of the 1960s, the Beatles were a smash success, and the band’s U.S. debut was dubbed the start of “the British Invasion.” The group released more than a dozen Beatles albums in the 1960s.
Along with John Lennon, Liverpool native McCartney was part of one of the most successful duos in music history. Either on his own or in tandem with Lennon, McCartney wrote some of the Beatles’ most celebrated songs, including “Hey Jude,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Let It Be” and “Yesterday.” “Hey Jude” alone is No. 10 in Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs of all time.
The Beatles earned record-high album sales and released chart-topping singles. Statistic Brain reported the group sold more than 2.3 billion albums, spent 1,278 weeks on the charts and 175 weeks total at No. 1. The group had 15 chart-topping hits and the album “Please Please Me” spent 30 weeks at No. 1.
Though Lennon and George Harrison died in 1980 and 2001, respectively, there is one other surviving member of the Beatles. Ringo Starr has a net worth of $350 million.
Paul McCartney’s Solo Career
In 1970, then-27-year-old McCartney released an experimental solo album in which he played all of the instruments, titled simply, “McCartney.” Not long after, the Beatles disbanded and McCartney went on to form the 1970s band Wings, which cranked out several hit singles.
McCartney went on to become one of the most successful musicians of the 1970s. A total of five of the nine top 10 albums he released that decade reached No. 1. He had six No. 1 singles and 15 songs that landed in the top 10.
For his work in music, Paul McCartney has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both as himself and as a Beatle. In 1997, he was knighted Sir Paul McCartney by the Queen of England.
Paul McCartney’s Family and Personal Life
Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman in 1969. The couple raised four children together — Stella, James, Heather and Mary McCartney. The two stayed together until Linda died of cancer in 1998. At the time of her death, Linda McCartney had a net worth of $5 million.
In 2002, McCartney married former model Heather Mills, and they had a daughter, Beatrice, in 2003. Mills has maintained a varied career in television and activism since. The two divorced in 2008, and McCartney married again in 2011, this time to Nancy Shevell.
McCartney began his career with the Beatles, which is regarded as one of history’s most influential and successful bands. His solo career has been no less prolific, profitable or successful. With his 76th birthday right around the corner, the billionaire Beatle will celebrate as one of the richest, most beloved and most emulated musicians in history.