Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer. With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles, and his songwriting partnership with Lennon is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century. After the band's break-up, he pursued a solo career, later forming Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine.
Guinness World Records described McCartney as the "most successful composer and recording artist of all time", with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million albums and 100 million singles, and as the "most successful songwriter" in United Kingdom chart history. More than 2,200 artists have covered his Beatles song "Yesterday", more than any other song in history. Wings' 1977 release "Mull of Kintyre" is one of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in March 1999, McCartney has written, or co-written 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2013 he has sold over 15.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States. McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Starr received MBEs in 1965, and in 1997, McCartney was knighted for his services to music.
McCartney has released an extensive catalogue of songs as a solo artist and has composed classical and electronic music. He has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, landmines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education. He has married three times and is the parent of five children.