Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California (23 September 2013) Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles, widely regarded as one of the most popular and influential acts in the history of rock music; his songwriting partnership with Lennon is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century. After the band's break-up, he pursued a solo career and later formed Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine. McCartney has been recognized as one of the most successful composers and performers of all time, with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million albums and 100 million singles of his work with the Beatles and as a solo artist. More than 2,200 artists have covered his Beatles song "Yesterday", more than any other copyrighted song in history. Wings' 1977 release "Mull Of Kintyre" is one of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in March 1999, McCartney has written, or co-written 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2014 he has sold more than 15.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States. McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Starr received MBEs in 1965, and in 1997, McCartney was knighted for his services to music. McCartney has released an extensive catalogue of songs as a solo artist and has composed classical and electronic music. He has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, landmines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education. He has married three times and is the parent of five children. "Birthday" is a song written by Lennon--McCartney and performed by the Beatles on their double album The Beatles (commonly known as The White Album). It is the opening track on the third side of the LP. The song is an example of the Beatles' return to more traditional rock and roll form, although their music had increased in complexity and it had developed more of its own characteristic style by this point. The song was largely written during a recording session at Abbey Road Studios on 18 September 1968 by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. McCartney: "We thought, 'Why not make something up?' So we got a riff going and arranged it around this riff. So that is 50-50 John and me, made up on the spot and recorded all in the same evening." George Martin was away so his assistant Chris Thomas produced the session. His memory is that the song was mostly Paul's: "Paul was the first one in, and he was playing the 'Birthday' riff. Eventually the others arrived, by which time Paul had literally written the song, right there in the studio." Everyone in the studio sang in the chorus and it was 5 am by the time the final mono mix was completed. John Lennon said in his Playboy interview in 1980: "'Birthday' was written in the studio. Just made up on the spot. I think Paul wanted to write a song like 'Happy Birthday Baby' [sic], the old fifties hit. But it was sort of made up in the studio. It was a piece of garbage." "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is a song credited to Lennon--McCartney, but written by Paul McCartney, also released on The White Album. McCartney wrote the song around the time that highlife and reggae were beginning to become popular in Britain. The starting lyric, "Desmond has a barrow in the market-place", was a reference to the first internationally renowned Jamaican ska and reggae performer Desmond Dekker who had just had a successful tour of the UK. The tag line "ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra" was an expression used by Nigerian conga player Jimmy Scott-Emuakpor, an acquaintance of McCartney. According to studio engineer Geoff Emerick, John Lennon "openly and vocally detested" the song, calling it Paul's "granny music shit". Lennon left the studio during a recording of the song (after several days and literally dozens of takes of the song, trying different tempos and styles), then returned while under the influence of marijuana, went immediately to the piano and played the opening chords much louder and faster than before. He claimed that was how the song should be played, and that is the version they ended up using. When singing the vocals for the song, specifically the last verse of the song when sung the second time, McCartney made a slip and said "Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face", rather than Molly, and had Molly letting "the children lend a hand". Reportedly, this mistake was kept in because the other Beatles liked it. George Harrison and Lennon yell "arm" and "leg" during a break in the song; between the lines "...Desmond lets the children lend a hand" and "Molly stays at home..."