Born in Liverpool, England, James Paul McCartney (1942-) was formally knighted Sir Paul by Queen Elizabeth II on this day in 1997 for his "cultural contributions and service to music."
He dedicated his knighthood to fellow ex-Beatles, Ringo Starr and the late George Harrison and John Lennon.
McCartney wrote his first song in 1956 and was just 15 years old when he joined Lennon's band The Quarrymen. Within three years, The Quarrymen became The Beatles. Along with Lennon, McCartney wrote music of great passion and poignancy.
Sir Paul woke up one morning in May 1965 with a beautiful melody in his head "in all the glory and the freshness of a dream," he explained.
The musician got out of bed, stepped over to the piano, and wrote Yesterday, the most played song of all time. In 1999, he received an award for 6,000,000 plays of the song on American radio-- someone computed that it would take over 23 years to play the song that many times nonstop.
In 2006, with four grown children and three grandchildren, his estimated worth was $2 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people on the planet.
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