Sir James Paul McCartney CH MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist and bassist for the Beatles.
His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history. After the group disbanded in 1970, he pursued a solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine.
In 1970, McCartney debuted as a solo artist with the album McCartney. Throughout the 1970s, he led Wings, one of the most successful bands of the decade, with more than a dozen international top 10 singles and albums.
McCartney is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. He has written or co-written 32 songs that have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2009, had sales of 25.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States.
His honours include two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1999), 18 Grammy Awards, an appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1965, and a knighthood in 1997 for services to music.
As of 2020, he is also one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated fortune of £800 million.
“The Beatles were a pretty hard act to follow, and we were going to follow them.” – Paul McCartney
After the break-up of The Beatles, McCartney could have worked with super-groups but he missed the camaraderie of a band on the road.
In the Summer of 1972, Paul McCartney and Wings travelled on WNO 481 for over 12,000 kilometres, 7,500 miles, to perform 25 concerts, in 25 cities, in 9 countries of Europe, for the 1972 Wings Over Europe Tour.
McCartney and his team had WNO 481 transformed into a ‘Woodstock on Wheels’, to bring his family and embryonic band on his first major tour since The Beatles.
When The 1972 Wings Over Europe Tour was over, Paul McCartney & Wings were the finished article and the real deal.
After the break-up of The Beatles, WNO 481 had played its part in helping Paul McCartney spread his Wings. Paul was now ready to take on the UK, the USA and the rest of the world.