Sir Paul McCartney facts: Songs, wife, children, childhood, net worth and more facts

15 June 2022, 09:25 | Updated: 15 January 2024, 11:41

Watch Paul McCartney Surprise Punters with a Performance at Liverpool Pub

By Tom Eames

Sir Paul McCartney is simply one of the most successful and popular musicians of all time.

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From his time with The Beatles, to his second band Wings and his prolific solo career, Sir Paul McCartney is a true icon and one of the most important people in pop music history.

Here are all the important facts and milestones as a beginner's guide to Macca:

  1. Where did Paul McCartney grow up?

    Paul McCartney in 1960
    Paul McCartney in 1960. Picture: Getty

    He was born James Paul McCartney on June 18, 1942 in Walton Hospital, Liverpool.

    The hospital was where his mother, Mary Patricia, was practising as a nurse. His father, James 'Jim' McCartney, was absent from his son's birth, due to his work as a volunteer firefighter during World War II.

    He also has one younger brother named Michael, and a stepsister, Ruth.

    He was baptised in their mother's Catholic faith, despite their father being a former Protestant, who had turned agnostic.

    Paul McCartney went to Stockton Wood Road Primary School in Speke from 1947 to 1949, when he transferred to Joseph Williams Junior School in Belle Vale.

    In 1953, with only three others out of 90, Paul passed the 11-Plus exam, meaning he then went to the Liverpool Institute, a grammar school.

    A year later, he met schoolmate George Harrison on the bus, and they quickly became friends.

    When he was 14, his mother died of an embolism. This helped his later connection with John Lennon, whose mother Julia, had died when he was 17.

  2. How did Paul McCartney get into music?

    Paul McCartney's father was a trumpet player and pianist, and kept an upright piano in the family's front room. He encouraged his sons to also be musical.

    He received a trumpet from his father for his 14th birthday, but he later traded it for a £15 Framus Zenith acoustic guitar. He found it tricky to play guitar right-handed, but after noticing a poster of Slim Whitman and realising that he played left-handed, he reversed the order of his strings.

    He wrote his first song, 'I Lost My Little Girl', on that guitar, and composed another tune that would later become 'When I'm Sixty-Four' on the piano.

    'Long Tall Sally' was the first song McCartney performed in public, at a Butlin's talent competition.

  3. When did he join The Beatles?

    The Beatles in 1963
    The Beatles in 1963. Picture: Getty

    Aged 15 in July 1957, McCartney met John Lennon and his band, the Quarrymen, at the St Peter's Church Hall fête in Woolton.

    The Quarrymen mostly rock and roll and skiffle music. McCartney was soon asked to join as a rhythm guitarist.

    George Harrison joined in 1958 as lead guitarist, followed by Lennon's school friend Stuart Sutcliffe on bass, in 1960.

    After trying several names, they chose The Beatles in August 1960, and signed drummer Pete Best before a residency in Hamburg, Germany.

    Within a few years, and with the arrival of Ringo Starr, the Fab Four quickly became the biggest stars on the planet, selling over 800 million records worldwide.

  4. When did he create Wings?

    Paul McCartney & WINGS - Live And Let Die

    After the Beatles broke up in 1970, he released a self-titled solo album.

    A year later, he collaborated with wife Linda and drummer Denny Seiwell on a second album, Ram.

    Ex-Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine then joined the McCartneys and Seiwell to form the band Wings.

    McCartney later said: "Wings were always a difficult idea. Any group having to follow [the Beatles] success would have a hard job. I found myself in that very position. However, it was a choice between going on or finishing, and I loved music too much to think of stopping."

  5. What are his biggest solo songs?

    Paul McCartney - Maybe I'm Amazed

    Among Sir Paul McCartney's most famous solo songs (not counting Wings) include:

    - Maybe I'm Amazed
    - Wonderful Christmastime
    - Waterfalls
    - Ebony and Ivory (with Stevie Wonder)
    - The Girl is Mine (with Michael Jackson)
    - Say Say Say (with Michael Jackson)
    - We All Stand Together
    - Pipes of Peace

  6. What is Paul McCartney's net worth?

    Sir Paul McCartney is one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion.

    As well as his interest in Apple Corps and MPL Communications, he owns a large music publishing catalogue, with access to over 25,000 copyrights, such as the rights to the musicals Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, Annie and Grease.

  7. Who has Paul McCartney been married to and how many children does he have?

    Paul And LInda in 1973
    Paul And LInda in 1973. Picture: Getty

    Sir Paul first married Linda Eastman, a photographer for several rock groups. Despite first liking John, she quickly realised she preferred Paul.

    They first met in 1967 at a Georgie Fame concert at The Bag O'Nails club. Paul later said: "The night Linda and I met, I spotted her across a crowded club, and although I would normally have been nervous chatting her up, I realised I had to. Pushiness worked for me that night!"

    The couple married in 1969, and they had four children together: Linda's daughter Heather (legally adopted by Paul), Mary, Stella and James.

    Paul with children James, Mary and Stella
    Paul with children James, Mary and Stella. Picture: Getty

    They stayed married until Linda's death from breast cancer aged 56 in 1998.

    In 2002, McCartney married Heather Mills, a former model and anti-landmines campaigner. They had a child, Beatrice Milly. They split in 2006, and divorced in 2008.

    Paul And Heather in 2005
    Paul And Heather in 2005. Picture: Getty

    He then married New York-based Nancy Shevell in a civil ceremony in London in October 2011. The couple had been together since November 2007. She is vice-president of a transportation conglomerate which owns New England Motor Freight.

    Paul and Nancy in 2010
    Paul and Nancy in 2010. Picture: Getty