Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer-songwriter, poet, composer, multi-instrumentalist, entrepreneur, record and film producer, painter, and animal rights and peace activist. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings, McCartney is the most successful songwriter in the history of popular music. Paul McCartney gained worldwide fame as a member of The Beatles, alongside John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. McCartney and Lennon formed one of the most influential and successful songwriting partnerships and wrote some of the most popular songs in the history of rock music. After leaving The Beatles, Paul McCartney launched a successful solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda Eastman, and singer-songwriter Denny Laine. He has worked on film scores and classical and electronic music, released a large catalogue of songs as a solo artist, and taken part in projects to help international charities.
Paul McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history, with 60 gold discs and sales of 100 million singles. His song "Yesterday" (credited to Lennon/McCartney, as all songs written by either Lennon or McCartney during their partnership as Beatles were, but composed entirely by McCartney) is listed as the most covered song in history—by over 3,500 artists so far—and has been played more than 7,000,000 times on American television and radio. Wings' 1977 single "Mull of Kintyre" became the first single to sell more than two million copies in the UK, and remains the UK's top selling non-charity single. According to britishhitsongwriters.com he is the most successful songwriter in UK singles chart history, based on weeks that his compositions have spent on the chart. As a performer or songwriter, McCartney was responsible for 32 number one singles on the U.S. Hot 100 chart.