Who he is:
British knight, singer, and songwriter, formerly of the Beatles and Wings
Where you’ve heard of him:
Any time you’ve ever listened to the radio
Paul McCartney will finally receive the Kennedy Center Honors this December. His selection was announced today and he, along with Oprah and four others, will be honored for their contributions to American culture. The former Beatle was originally selected in 2002, but quickly backed out, citing family obligations.
“President Kennedy was such an icon for us in the Sixties,” McCartney said, “and his presidency was so inspiring for so many people that it is a great pleasure for this kid from Liverpool to receive this honour.”
It’s easy to forget how awesome Paul McCartney actually is. The Beatles were the Beatles—stupefyingly good and prolific. Listen to his voice in “Yesterday” and try not to cry. Once the band broke up in 1970, he founded Wings, which was a pretty damn good rock group, too. They had “Band on the Run,” “Jet,” and countless others. That’s all without mentioning the greatest Christmas song of all time.
At 68, Sir McCartney hasn’t stopped. He’s still performing and just recently finished his North American tour.