20 Facts About Paul McCartney, The Cute Beatle

20 Facts About Paul McCartney, The Cute Beatle

Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer, songwriter, and film producer. He is widely known for being the co-lead vocalist and bassist for the Beatles. His partnership with legendary rock star John Lennon, dubbed Lennon-McCartney, was one of the most storied and successful in the history of rock music. Popularly referred to as the ‘cute one’, here are some of the most interesting facts about Paul McCartney you probably didn’t know about.

1. His first official stage performance was a mess

One of the little-known facts about Paul McCartney is about his first official stage performance on October 18, 1957. At the time, Paul was part of the Quarrymen band, which later evolved into the Beatles. During the live performance at Conservative Club, he was so nervous that his voice kept cracking as his bandmate John Lennon burst into laughter several times. (Beatles Bible)

2. He is an accomplished painter

When talking about facts about Paul McCartney, not so many people are aware that he is actually a great painter. Over the past two decades, he has had more than 70 paintings available for viewing at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England. He hid his passion for painting for almost two decades but spoke proudly about it in 2000 when his artwork exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery. He said:

“”I’ve been offered an exhibition of my paintings at the Walker Art Gallery … where John and I used to spend many a pleasant afternoon. So I’m really excited about it. I didn’t tell anybody I painted for 15 years but now I’m out of the closet.” (BBC News)

3. You can call him ‘Detective’ McCartney

The New York Police Department made Paul McCartney an honorary detective in 2002 at Madison Square Garden. The rock star received the honors at the backstage of his concert for his emotional tribute to the September 9/11 attacks, dubbed the ‘Concert For New York.’ Confirming the award, he jokingly told his cheering fans,

“So whoever is smoking that stuff I can smell, I am going to bust you.” (The New York Post)

4. He witnessed one of the planes crash into the Twin Towers on 9/11

This is probably one of the most disturbing facts about Paul McCartney. As the whole world watched the terror that befell the United States on September 11, 2001, Paul McCartney was one of the witnesses. On that fateful day, he was on the tarmac at the JFK Airport in New York, awaiting take off after touring the city. Describing the events that followed thereafter, Paul explained:

“Out of the window on the right hand side of the airplane, you could see the Twin Towers. First there was a plume of smoke and then there was a second. I said that’s an optical illusion. It’s probably just some sort of little fire. Finally the steward came over to me and said, ‘Look, something serious has happened in New York and we’ve got to get you out of here.’” (The Hollywood Reporter)

5. Traded a trumpet for a guitar

While it is a fact that Paul McCartney was a prolific guitar player, not so many fans know that his first instrument wasn’t a guitar. Given that his father was a trumpet player, he gifted Paul a nickel-plated trumpet for his 14th birthday. But Paul had fallen in love with rock and roll and did not like the trumpet because he couldn’t sing while playing it. As a result, he decided to trade it for an acoustic guitar. (Archive.org)

6. Performed in front of a record-breaking crowd in Brazil

One of the most little-known facts about Paul McCartney, despite his popularity, is his record-breaking concert in Brazil. On April 21, 1990, he performed in front of over 350,000 fans at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, setting the record of the highest paid concert attendance anywhere in the world for nine years. (Guinness World Record)

7. Spent the night in jail in Hamburg for a strange reason

During their tour of Hamburg, Germany, in November 1960, the Beatle’s contract to perform at the Kaiserkeller was cancelled. The decision was made by owner Bruno Koschmider after he found out that the popular rock band had agreed to play at his rival’s club, the Top Ten Club. The band members went back to their hotel room and started packing, but it was so dark that they had to look for unconventional ways to get some light.

According to multiple accounts, they lit up a condom and attached it to nail on the wall. When Bruno found out that there were burn marks on the wall, he called the police and accused The Beatles of attempting to set the room on fire. The band members, consisting of John Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe, Pete Best and Paul McCartney, were arrested, and spent a night in police custody before being deported from Germany the following day. George Harrison, on the other hand, had already been deported from the country for being underage. (Beatles Bible)

8. He co-wrote almost songs with John Lennon

The Lennon-McCartney duo, widely considered as the most successful musical collaboration ever, composed almost 200 songs together, and sold over 600 million records worldwide by 2004.

Facts About Paul McCartney

John Lennon and McCartney during their days as the Beatles. Source: Creative Commons

Their hit song ‘Yesterday’ held the record of the most recorded song ever. Between 1965 and 1986, the song had been recorded over 1,600 times. Some notable singers who recorded the song include Elvis Presley, Boyz II Men, James Brown, Frank Sinatra and Gladys Knight. (Guinness World Records)

9. He sued Steve Jobs thrice

When the Beatles formed their own record label and multi-media company, Apple Corps Ltd, they did not know that years later, the name itself would be the subject of a multi-million lawsuit. In 1977, the Beatles discovered that there was a new tech company named Apple Computer, Inc. Though broken up, the superstars reunited in a 30-year legal battle with Steve Jobs, founder of the tech company. In 2007, the Beatles won the lawsuit, and finally got paid an undisclosed amount believed to be in the millions. The amount was channeled to Paul McCartney, Ringo Star and the estates belonging to George Harrison and John Lennon. (CNBC News)

10.  Earns up to $600,000 a year for his song ‘Wonderful Christmas time’

One of the most unbelievable facts about Paul McCartney is the hefty paycheck he receives every end of the year in royalties for writing one of the most iconic Christmas songs ever, Wonderful Christmastime. The 1979 song, often played almost everywhere in the world where Christmas is celebrated, was written and produced entirely by Paul himself. In return, he makes between $400,000 and $600,000 every year from royalties. (Forbes)

11.  His daughter is a fashionista

Born in 1971 to Paul and his first wife Linda, Stella Nina is a renown fashion designer in Hollywood. She launched her own fashion brand in 2001, and has since grown to become one of the most successful in pop culture. Her list of clientele includes the likes of Beyonce, Meghan Markle, Rihanna, Amal Clooney, among others. Interestingly, she is also a vegetarian just like her father. According to multiple reports, she does not use leather and fur in her creations. (StellaMcCartney.com)

12.  Donated millions to charities

Paul McCartney is one of the most charitable rock stars the world has ever known. By the summer of 2020, he had supported at least 45 global charities, donating millions of dollars. Some notable charities supported by the iconic signer include Cruelty Free International, Adopt-A-Minefield, Everyone Matters, PETA, Red Cross, Greenpeace, and so much more. (PaulMcCartney.com)

13.  He is a father of many kids

His love for children is one of the many little-known facts about Paul McCartney. The ex-Beatle has four biological children, Mary, Stella, James and Beatrice. He also adopted Heather, the biological daughter of his first wife Linda McCartney.

In addition, he has eight grandchildren; they inspired him to write the book Hey, Grandude! At the international level, McCartney continues to be involved in charities for children. Some notable ones include Keep a Child Alive, Barbra Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Teenage Cancer Trust, Children with Leukemia, among others. In 2012, he performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The concert raised over $382 million. (BBC)

14.  He sank into depression when the Beatles broke up

On April 10, 1970, after years of speculation, the curtains fell on the Beatles. Years later, speaking about the much-publicized break up, Paul revealed that he sank into depression after announcing the breakup. He told BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes,

“It was difficult to know what to do after The Beatles. How do you follow that. I was depressed. You would be. You were breaking from your lifelong friends. So I took to the bevies.” (BBC)

15.  He made a cameo appearance in the Pirates of the Caribbean

If you are a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean, you probably did not know that one of the many astonishing facts about Paul McCartney is his role in the blockbuster movie series. He featured as captain Jack Sparrow’s (John Depp) uncle in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

In the series, Jack Sparrow is locked up in a jail in the Caribbean, awaiting to be executed. While there, he makes eye contact with another prisoner who is playing cards. Jack immediately recognizes the prisoner (McCartney), and to his surprise, the prisoner is also his uncle, Jack. (Entertainment Weekly)  

16. He also appeared in The Simpsons

The Simpsons seventh episode Lisa the Vegetarian leads us to yet another one of the many facts about Paul McCartney. In the episode, McCartney features as himself alongside his then-wife Linda. As a well-known vegetarian, McCartney reportedly agreed to appear in the show but under one condition: if Lisa Simpson agreed to be a vegetarian throughout the show’s run. This condition was approved, and more than two decades later, Lisa is still a vegetarian. (Live Kindly)

17.  He was knighted by the Queen of England

Paul McCartney goes by the title ‘Sir’, after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 for his influence in music. However, this was not the first and only honor he received from the British monarch. In 1965, he received an MBE( Member of the Order of the British Empire) alongside his Beatles bandmates. In 2017, he also received yet another honor from Her Majesty: the Companion of Honour. (The Independent)

18. Liverpool or Everton? McCartney’s verdict

Given that Paul McCartney is from Liverpool, the home of two rival football (soccer) clubs, Liverpool and Everton, one would assume that he has a favorite among the two. According to his family history, his father was born in Everton, which made his entire family support Everton Football Club by default. For that reason, McCartney supports Everton when they play Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. However, he also mentioned in a 2008 interview that he also somehow supports both sides because they are all from Liverpool, citing his friendship with Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that he has no favorites; he supports the two clubs because they are Liverpool, something you don’t hear quite often in that part of the world. (Liverpool Echo)

19.  He quit smoking marijuana in 2015

Legendary rock star Bob Dylan is well-remembered for introducing the Beatles to marijuana in 1964 at a hotel room in New York City. Since the encounter, McCartney, just like the other Beatles, was hooked. As a result, he found himself in trouble with law enforcement authorities in Sweden, Japan, United States, and his native country Britain. In 2015, he finally decided to quit smoking marijuana to set a good example for his grandchildren. (The Independent)

20.  He was the richest musician in the world in 2020

In 2020, Paull McCartney earned $1.2 billion in royalties from his time with the Beatles, Wings, and as a solo artist. The 18-time Grammy award winner also owns several properties across Europe and America. In May 2020, The Sunday Times named him as the richest musician in the United Kingdom. (Cosmic Magazine)

We hope that you enjoyed reading these facts about Paul McCartney. Do you know of any other fact(s) about him worth mentioning? Please feel free to drop a comment below! Also, please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest from our blog.


  1. Beatles Bible: https://www.beatlesbible.com/1957/10/18/paul-mccartneys-debut-with-the-quarrymen/#:~:text=Liverpudlian%20promoter%20Charlie%20’Mac’%20McBain,McCartney%20played%20lead%20guitar.
  2. BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/981721.stm
  3. The New York Post: https://nypost.com/2002/04/29/detective-paul-mccartney-awarded-his-finest-honor/
  4. Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/paulmccartneyman00mile_0
  5. Hollywood Reporter: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/paul-mccartney-recalls-911-tarmac-219461
  6. Guinness World Records: https://web.archive.org/web/20060525134623/http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/content_pages/record.asp?recordid=50502
  7. Beatles Bible: https://www.beatlesbible.com/1960/11/29/paul-mccartney-pete-best-arrested-hamburg/
  8. Guinness World Records: https://web.archive.org/web/20060910071729/http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/content_pages/record.asp?recordid=50867
  9. CNBC News: https://www.cnbc.com/id/17000077
  10.  Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2010/12/23/paul-mccartney-continues-to-have-a-wonderful-financial-christmas-time/?sh=630c188354e1
  11.  StellaMcCartney.com: https://www.stellamccartney.com/us
  12.  PaulMcCartney.com: https://www.paulmccartney.com/causes
  13.  BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-49563207
  14.  BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03w2989
  15.  Entertainment Weekly: https://ew.com/movies/2017/05/26/paul-mccartney-pirates-of-the-caribbean-5-role/
  16.  Live Kindly: https://www.livekindly.co/paul-mccartney-the-simpsons-lisa-vegetarian/
  17.  The Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/paul-mccartney-beatles-companion-honour-services-music-queen-buckingham-palace-a8337231.html
  18.  Liverpool Echo: https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/sir-paul-mccartneys-everton-secret-3480457
  19.  The Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/paul-mccartney-quit-cannabis-because-he-didn-t-want-set-bad-example-his-grandchildren-10286647.html
  20.  Cosmic Magazine: https://cosmicmagazine.com.au/news/paul-mccartney-is-the-united-kingdoms-richest-musician/

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