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Biographies Paul McCartney

2010 Gershwin Prize Winner

Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England, on June 18, 1942. He was raised in the city and educated at the Liverpool Institute.

Since writing his first song at the age of 14, Paul McCartney has dreamed and dared to be different. In the ’60s, as the writer and co-author of The Beatles’ greatest songs, he changed the world of music. Legendary albums include: “Please Please Me,” “Revolver,” “Help!,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “The White Album.” Paul has continued to push boundaries over the last 30 years, first as a solo artist, then with Wings (with albums that included “Band On The Run” and “Wings at The Speed Of Sound”) and following that as a solo artist again, with recent highlights including 2007’s “Memory Almost Full.” Most recently he received critical acclaim as “The Fireman” (a collaborative project between McCartney and producer Youth) with their 2008 “Electric Arguments” album.

Paul McCartney is also an accomplished, award-winning classical composer. His most recent classical album “Ecce Cor Meum” (“Behold My Heart”) was released in September 2006 and won the 2007 Best Album Award at the Classical Brit Awards. McCartney was awarded a special Outstanding Contribution Award at the 2008 BRIT Awards at Earls Court in London. Months later, Yale University presented him with an honorary doctorate of music. As he received his diploma, President Richard C. Levin told him, “Your songs awakened a generation, giving a fresh sound to rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm and blues. We admire your musical genius and your generous support of worthy causes.”

Equally renowned as a live performer as he is a songwriter, McCartney has spent much of the last five years performing sold-out concerts to millions of people all over the world including places he had never previously visited, winning rave reviews along the way.

A freeman of The City of Liverpool and Lead Patron of The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, McCartney was appointed Fellow of The Royal College of Music in 1995 by The Prince of Wales. In 1996 Paul McCartney was knighted by H.M. the Queen of England for his services to music. He is also committed to a number of charities including PETA, LIPA, One Voice, The Vegetarian Society, Nordoff Robins, and Adopt-A-Minefield.

Related Resources

Selected Works at the Library of Congress

Videos from the Library of Congress