June 18, 2012 at 12:49 AM ET
Of course we still loved him when he was 64, and now that Paul McCartney has hit the milestone of turning 70, who says we can't love him even more?
McCartney rose to prominence as the "cute" Beatle in the 1960s, both as lead singer in the iconic band and also one of its principal songwriters; he and John Lennon wrote the bulk of the Beatles' songs and are considered one of rock-'n'-roll's preeminent teams. When the band split up in the 1970s, each of the four Beatles took their own solo recording paths, and McCartney was the only member to chart with regular success in the ensuing years.
Post-Beatles he released two solo albums, "McCartney" and "Ram," which featured vocal assistance from his wife Linda; eventually, he brought on more musicians to coalesce his solo career into new band Wings, and released seven albums with the outfit throughout the '70s, scoring hits with songs like "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Band on the Run."
Since then, he's continued to release solo albums, his most recent being "Kisses on the Bottom," which came out early in 2012. But he's also got several classical albums under his belt and even has releases under multiple pseudonyms -- he was Percy "Thrills" Thrillington for the instrumental album version of "Ram" and he collaborated with electronica producer Youth as "The Fireman."
Over the years, McCartney has been married three times (most recently in 2011), had a minor planet named after him, a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth, an honorary doctorate in music from Yale and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He will close the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony on July 27.
The Guinness Book of World Records calls him the "most successful composer and recording artist of all time," and he has sold over 100 million albums and singles.
Clearly, Paul McCartney has a lot to celebrate. Happy birthday, Sir Paul!