Paul McCartney character jug modeled by Stanley J. Taylor and produced by Royal Doulton of Burslem, England, between 1984-1991. James Paul McCartney (1942- ) is a British singer, musician and songwriter who first came to prominence as a member of the Beatles. Recognized as a top musical icon of the twentieth century, McCartney is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful composer in popular music history. He has recorded twenty-nine U.S. number one singles, and has written or co-written over fifty top-ten hits, more than any other songwriter. McCartney has been an influential bassist as well as an accomplished singer, guitarist, pianist, and drummer. McCartney and John Lennon were the main songwriters in the Beatles. Many of McCartney's compositions, including "Hey Jude," "Eleanor Rigby," "Let It Be" and "Yesterday," are frequently ranked among the best songs in popular music history. "Yesterday" is the world's most popular song with more than six million air plays in the U.S. alone. McCartney's post-Beatles career has also been successful, as a solo artist and with his 1970s band, Wings.