Sir Paul McCartney, 79, will forever be one of the biggest rockstars on the planet — but one title comes first for The Beatles’ star: dad. Paul is the father of five children, including four with his late wife Linda McCartney.
Paul married the American photographer and animal rights activist in 1969, and they went on to welcome daughters Mary McCartney, 52, Stella McCartney, 50, and son James McCartney, 44. Paul also adopted Linda’s daughter Heather McCartney, 58, from her relationship with ethnographer Joseph Melville See. The British-born singer and Tucson, Arizona native remained wed until her death in 1998 after a battle with breast cancer. She was 56 years old.
The GRAMMY winner later revealed he “cried for about a year, on and off” as he grieved Linda. “You expect to see them walk in, this person you love, because you are so used to them,” he said to the BBC in 2019 at the opening of an exhibit. “I cried a lot. It was almost embarrassing except it seemed the only thing to do,” he added, sharing his mother Mary McCartney also died of the same disease when he was just 14.
Paul re-married after meeting Heather Mills, 53, in 2002. The former model gave birth to their only child Beatrice McCartney, now 17, in Oct. 2003. Sadly, Paul and Heather split in 2008 after a six-year union.
Learn more about Paul’s five kids by scrolling below.
Heather was born on December 31, 1962 to Linda and her first husband Joseph Melville See in in Tucson, Arizona. Linda and Joseph separated when Heather was just 18 months old, and she was later adopted by Paul at the age of 6 (Paul and Joseph’s divorce was finalized in 1965).
As a youngster, Heather made a memorable appearance in The Beatles film Let It Be.
Like her parents, Heather has always had a creative flair for the arts: she studied printing at the Photographers’ Workshop in Covent Garden, later winning the Young Black and White Printer of the Year Award. After high school, she studied pottery and design — eventually working as a professional potter.
Her passion for creating home items lead to her own namesake Heather McCartney Houseware Collection in 1999, inspired by time she spent in Mexico and abroad. Around the same time, she also moved to Arizona to live with her biological father, who died in 1999.
“The first time I went down [to Mexico], I had $200 in my pocket. My mum and dad didn’t say, ‘You’re being taken care of here’. They allowed me to experience it for myself, and that was very important to me,” she explained.
“I spent time with people who weren’t interested in money. They didn’t want the latest washing machine or television. They had nothing, but they were happy. They just wanted to be left alone and allowed me to be – and I could relate to that.”
The experience likely inspired the later years of her life, in which she’s chosen to live as a private citizen on Paul’s Waterfall estate in Peasmarsh, East Sussex. Heather never married, and has no children. She also has no public social media profiles.
Mary McCartney entered the world on August 28, 1969. As Paul’s first-born child, she received plenty of attention when she came along — even appearing on the cover of her dads’ McCartney album under his coat (photographed by Linda, naturally).
Like her talented mother, Mary also pursued a career as a professional photographer.
The brunette married her first husband, television producer Alistair Donald, in 1998 after a three year courtship. The exes welcomed their son Arthur Donald on April 3, 1999, making Paul a grandfather for the very first time. She and Alistair had their second child, son Elliot Donald, on Aug. 1, 2002.
After a seven year marriage, Mary and Alistair confirmed their separation — officially divorcing in 2007. She later reflected on the difficult period, which was plagued by her mother’s death nearly a decade earlier. “I lost my mother, got married, had a baby. I think of it as a shame not to have stayed married … Relationships are the most intriguing thing to get right,” she said in 2019 to The Sunday Times.
Mary was pregnant with her third son the following year, this time with boyfriend Simon Aboud. She gave birth to Sam Aboud on Aug. 11, 2008. In 2010, Mary and Simon legally married — welcoming another son Sid on Sept. 3, 2011.
As a photographer, Mary has had a number of career highs — including being chosen to take portraits of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie in 2000 with their fourth child Leo. She also produced a documentary called Wingspan about her father’s career after The Beatles and band he created with Linda.
Mary is an activist and proud vegetarian, co-founding organization Meat Free Monday. She has published two cookbooks, Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking and At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends.
Stella is perhaps the most famous in the brood thanks to her successful design career. She was born on September 13, 1971, and named for her maternal great-grandmothers who were both named Stella. Her birth was not an easy one, as Linda had to undergo an emergency C-section to bring her third child safely into the world (Paul has previously said he prayed that she be born “on the wings of an angel” — later inspiring the name of his band Wings).
Like her siblings, she attended local schools in East Sussex — including Bexhill Collage. As a young teen, Stella developed an early interest in garments and clothing — designing her first-ever jacket at 13.
While still in high school, she cut her teeth with an internship at Christian LaCroix, as well as working with her father’s Savile Row tailor. Stella then studied fashion at the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, as well as at the Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins.
At her graduation show in 1995, several of her dad’s famous pals appeared in a runway show modeling her collection — including Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. She proved herself to the industry after taking the helms of Chloe as creative director, reviving the brand until she left the post in 2001 to launch her own namesake label.
“There have definitely been moments when I’ve been ridiculed or not taken seriously,” she shared in an interview with MailOnline, reflecting on the challenges of her last name and association with her father. “I’ve even had people on my payroll who have doubted whether or not I can succeed. That does make you think: ‘Hang on a moment, I’m employing you, yet you don’t believe in the longevity of my business?'” she confessed.
The brand continues today with several retail locations, and has expanded to include collaborations with Adidas and artists like Taylor Swift. In 2013, she was also appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) her her contributions to British fashion.
In her personal life, Stella is married to publisher Alasdhair Willis, who she wed in Aug. 2003. The couple have four kids, including: son Miller Alasdhair James Willis, born 2005, daughter Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis, born in 2006, son Beckett Robert Lee Willis, born 2008, and daughter Reiley Dilys Stella Willis, born 2010.
Like her family members, Stella is an activist for animal rights and uses no animal products (including leather and fur) in her collections. She also oversees her own foundation Stella McCartney Cares, which is dedicated to those with breast cancer.
The charity is close to her heart given her mothers’ cause of death. “Losing my mum. That was a punch-me moment,'” she said when she launched the organization, reflecting on her own path as a mother. “I feel like a different person since my mum passed away, like I’m driving a ship with my husband alongside me and we’re leading these four children into unknown waters,” she said.
James Louis McCartney was born on September 12, 1977. He was named after his paternal grandfather Jim McCartney (Paul’s full name is actually James Paul McCartney, so it is also a tribute to the Beatles star).
Like his dad, James has pursued a career in the music industry — getting a taste of life on the road when his parents toured as band Wings. While studying at the Thomas Peacocke Community College, he became curious about guitars.
James has collaborated with his father, appearing on Paul’s solo albums Flaming Pie and Driving Rain where he co-wrote tracks, as well as played both guitar and drums. He has also leant his skills to mom Linda, playing lead guitar on her posthumously released Wide Prairie.
“Music has been important to me my whole life,” James said to the Daily Herald in April 2017. “I love performing live, and it’s great fun. It can be nerve-wracking sometimes, mostly because I get so pumped up for it! Ultimately, though, when you look out at the audience and see them connecting with the music you’ve written, it’s all worth it. An amazing and beautiful experience.”
In the early 2000s, James pursued his post secondary education in Brighton and supported himself by working at a restaurant — later hitting the road with his dad for a 2005 tour. By 2008. James was making his own solo music, releasing album Available Light in 2010.
“The music was inspired by The Beatles, Nirvana, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Radiohead—and all good music. It is basically rock n’ roll, clean sounding and vocal. The words on the album refer to spirituality, love, family, trying to sort out one’s life, and many other things,” he said of the personal project. He followed the LP up with 2013’s Me and 2016’s The Blackberry Train.
James is not married, and does not have any children. Like his sisters and father, he is also vegetarian and an animal rights activist.
Paul and second wife Heather Mills have just one daughter: teenager Beatrice, who was born on October 28, 2003, after Heather experienced miscarriages and fertility struggles.
The singer was 61 when Beatrice came along, and he credits his youngest for making him fall in love with being a parent even more. “I love being a dad,” he told the The Telegraph in Jan. 2009. “My typical morning these days would be to get up at 6:30 a.m., make breakfast, get Beatrice up, get her dressed and watch some TV,” he explained.
“I love every second of it and I’m not exhausted at all,” he went on. “People say, I’m up at 6:30 a.m., what is going on? But I genuinely love it. It’s a thrill bringing up a young kid. It’s such an education. I’m a different dad now, but it’s good.”
Notably, Paul married for the third time in 2011 when he tied the knot with Nancy Shevell, 61 — but the couple share no children.