Happy birthday Macca! A look back at Sir Paul McCartney’s life as he turns 78

Sir Paul McCartney is 78.

The beloved former Beatle marks the milestone on Thursday and appears to be celebrating it in the US with wife Nancy Shevell.

They were pictured together in affluent New York resort The Hamptons this week. Liverpool-born Sir Paul is one of the most influential figures in popular music and has enjoyed an almost unrivalled career lasting more than 60 years.

To celebrate his birthday, here are pictures from throughout his life:

The Quarrymen
This grainy snap, thought to have been taken in 1959, captures a moment in rock ‘n’ roll history – Sir Paul McCartney (left), John Lennon and George Harrison rehearsing as The Quarrymen, a year before they evolved into the Beatles (Tracks Ltd/PA)
Beatles break-up anniversary
Seven years later and a world away, Sir Paul (waving) and his bandmates, now including drummer Sir Ringo Starr, are the biggest pop group on the planet. They are pictured here boarding a plane in London in 1966 (PA)
Beatles break-up anniversary
A year on and the Beatles are still the world’s number one band. Sir Paul, on the left, is joined by John, Ringo and George for June 1967 rehearsals for the international television programme Our World (PA)
Beatles break-up anniversary
It is May 1974 and Sir Paul is no longer a Beatle. The band broke millions of hearts when splitting acrimoniously in 1970. Sir Paul is pictured at Heathrow airport with wife Linda and his daughter Stella, today a major fashion designer (PA)
Paul McCartney’s new single
In 1983 two of the world’s biggest stars – Sir Paul and Michael Jackson – got together in the studio to work on their duet Say Say Say (Linda McCartney/PA)
Beatles break-up anniversary
Sir Paul sits at a piano while rehearsing for a solo appearance at the 1986 Royal Variety Performance at London’s Theatre Royal (PA)
In 1991 Sir Paul and first wife Linda launched the UK’s first-ever National Vegetarian Day in London. The couple were both passionate about animal rights and it is a cause Sir Paul continued to champion following Linda’s death in 1998 at the age of 56 (PA)
Music – Royal Investiture – Paul McCartney – Buckingham Palace
Arise, Sir Macca! The lad from Liverpool became a knight of the realm in 1997 when the Queen honoured him for services to music. It would not be his last visit to Buckingham Palace (Adam Butler/PA)
Paul McCartney Wedding
It is 2002 and Sir Paul is joined by his bride-to-be Heather Mills, as they prepare to tie the knot at a church in Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland. However, Sir Paul’s second marriage was not to have a happy ending (Haydn West/PA)
McCartney divorce hearing
Sir Paul McCartney and Ms Mills went through a bitter split in 2008. He is pictured here leaving London’s High Court after reaching a settlement of £24.3 million in their divorce deal (Max Nash/PA)
Meat Free Monday
A year on from his draining divorce, Sir Paul looked back to his best while promoting the food campaign Meat Free Monday alongside his daughters Mary (left) and Stella (right) (Carl Court/PA)
Paul McCartney Wedding
Sir Paul was all smiles again in 2011 as he married his third wife, American businesswoman Nancy Shevell. They tied the knot at Marylebone Town Hall, where Sir Paul walked down the aisle with his first wife, Linda (John Stillwell/PA)
Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Twenty years after being knighted, the Queen made Sir Paul a Companion of Honour. He paid tribute to his parents after receiving the award (Yui Mok/PA)
Hey Grandude!
Hey Grandude! It is 2019 and perhaps the world’s most beloved pop star released a children’s book, inspired by the nickname his eight grandchildren gave him (Ian West/PA)
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