Sir Paul McCartney makes history as Glastonbury’s oldest solo headliner

Jun 27, 2022
As McCartney paused to greet the crowd he was met with a surprising and touching rendition of Happy Birthday from the crowd. Source: Getty Images.

They say that age is just a number and former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, demonstrated that in spades on Saturday, June 25, when he took to the stage of Glastonbury to become the oldest solo headliner at the festival.

McCartney, 80, appeared on the festival’s iconic Pyramid Stage in front of a crowd of thousands for an incredible set that lasted over two hours. He began his mammoth performance with The Beatles’ classic Can’t Buy Me Love. 

As McCartney paused to greet the crowd he was met with a surprising and touching rendition of Happy Birthday from the crowd, McCartney recently reached his milestone 80th birthday on June 18.

“For me?” McCartney said in surprise.

 “Oh man, it’s so good to be here. We were supposed to be doing this three years ago.

“But here we are. We’ve got some old songs for you, we’ve got some new songs, and we’ve got some in-betweeners… and I got a feeling we’re going to have a great time.”

After the crowd’s heartwarming birthday wishes, McCartney had a surprise of his own, bringing Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl to the stage for a surprise performance. However, the Live and Let Die hitmaker wasn’t done there, surprising the crowd yet again with special guest Bruce Springstein.

“We have another surprise for you from the east coast of America, New Jersey, it’s Mr Bruce Springsteen,” McCartney announced.

While on stage, Bruce said: ‘Happy birthday Paul, here’s to 80 more years”, before the pair performed Glory Days for the roaring crowd.


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The legendary performance took an emotional turn when McCartney performed a virtual duet of I’ve Got a Feeling with his late bandmate and close friend John Lennon.

“I’ve got a special little thing here,” McCartney said while introducing the surprise duet.

“One day, Peter Jackson rings me up and says he can take John’s vocals and isolate them so that you can play live with John on tour. He said do you fancy that?”

“That’s so special for me man,” McCartney said after the duet.

“I know it’s virtual but come on – it’s John. We’re back together.”

The Glastenbury crowd may have been celebrating McCartney on Saturday but fellow music fans around the world were celebrating Global Beatles Day, an annual holiday that honours and celebrates the ideals of the Fab Four.

Fans around the world commemorate Global Beatles Day on June 25 each year after die-hard Beatles fan Faith Cohen first celebrated the day in 2009 in what she called “a thank you or love letter to The Beatles”.  The particular date was chosen because it is the same date that the band performed their song All You Need Is Love on Our World in 1967,  a program which aired on the BBC to a global audience.

The Beatles are widely regarded as the most influential band in popular music history. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they triggered the “Beatlemania” phenomenon of 1963, gained international superstardom in 1964, and remained active until their break-up in 1970.

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