When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: CenturyLink Center, 455 N. 10th St.
Tickets: $97.50 to $165 via Ticketmaster
Information: centurylinkcenteromaha.com or 402-341-1500
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By any measure, Paul McCartney is the most successful musician of all time.
With his bands and his solo career, Sir Paul has sold more albums than anyone. McCartney is among the top Grammy winners, and he has dozens of platinum albums.
Of course it helps that he was part of the Beatles.
With 178 million albums sold, the Fab Four are the top-selling artist of all time in the U.S. The group had 43 platinum certifications, 26 multiplatinum and six diamond.
But McCartney’s solo work and his material with Wings have kept him in the spotlight, selling albums and winning more awards since the Beatles’ breakup. And McCartney’s tours have ranked among the top 15 worldwide for the last six years.
We took a look at McCartney and the Beatles statistics, and, in some cases, checked to see how he and they compare with other major musicians. See the stats below.
Credit where credit’s due
Some might say McCartney deserves only ¼ of the credit for his time in the Beatles.
I say no.
He should get full credit.
The reason is twofold: First, he and Lennon wrote or co-wrote nearly every song the band released. Second, every Beatle should get full credit for being a Beatle.
Even Ringo. Especially Ringo.
Because he “only played drums” and “didn’t even write that many songs” and “only sang lead a few times” shouldn’t make Ringo a lesser member. He was as important in his own way as anyone else in that band.
Same with McCartney. You can’t talk about him as an artist without acknowledging his membership in the biggest rock band of all time. It’s impossible to separate the two.
178 million from the Beatles, 15.5 million solo, 10 million with Wings*
18 wins, 78 nominations
11 wins with the Beatles, 4 solo, 3 with Wings**
58 platinum, 31 multiplatinum, 6 diamond
42 platinum, 26 multiplatinum and 6 diamond with the Beatles;
9 platinum and 4 multiplatinum solo;
7 platinum and 1 multiplatinum with Wings*
No. 1 songs
20 with the Beatles, 6 with Wings on Billboard’s Hot 100
No. 1 albums
19 with the Beatles, 2 solo, 1 with Wings
*Source: The RIAA
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The biggest sellers and hottest artists ever
Overall, Paul McCartney is the biggest musician around.
But neither he nor the Beatles are No. 1 in every category. Not nearly.
We delved into a variety of categories involving hit songs, awards and album sales to figure out the biggest sellers, award winners and hottest artists ever.
Georg Solti, conductor: 31
Alison Krauss, country singer: 27
Quincy Jones, producer: 27
The Beatles: 178 million
Garth Brooks: 148 million
Elvis Presley: 136 million
Elvis Presley: 53
The Beatles: 42
George Strait: 33
Garth Brooks: 7
The Beatles: 6
Led Zeppelin: 5
Rihanna: 119.5 million
Taylor Swift: 101 million
Katy Perry: 89 million
Michael Jackson, “Thriller”: 33 million
Eagles, “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975”: 29 million
Billy Joel, “Great Hits Volume I & Volume II”: 23 million
No. 1 songs
The Beatles: 20
Mariah Carey: 18
Michael Jackson / Rihanna: 13
No. 1 albums
The Beatles: 19
Bruce Springsteen: 11
Highest grossing concert tours
U2, 360° Tour, 2009-2011: $736,421,584
The Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang Tour, 2005-2007: $558,255,524
Roger Waters, The Wall Live, 2010-2013: $458,673,798
Sources: sales numbers from the Recording Industry Association of America; charts from Billboard’s Hot 100 singles and Billboard 200 charts; concert sales from Pollstar
Paul McCartney ranks among the best left-handed guitarists, but No. 1 is no question
Only 10 percent of the world’s population is left-handed.
But some of the best guitarists of all time are lefties.
Among them is Paul McCartney, who comes to Omaha on Sunday. He famously plays a left-handed Hofner violin bass and often an Epiphone Casino, which fellow Beatle John Lennon also liked to play.
“I went into (a guitar shop) and said to the guy that I wanted something that would really feed back, and he said, ‘Well, this one will,’ ” McCartney told Drowned in Sound. “It had a hollow body and that was the reason I got it originally. I used it for the ‘Taxman’ solo and for ‘Paperback Writer’ because ... through a Vox amp, it just gave a nice little dirty noise. I use that on stage now.”
(Fun fact: McCartney wasn’t the only southpaw in the Beatles. Ringo Starr is also left-handed, but played on a right-handed drum kit.)
Lefties make up a smaller section of the guitar-playing population, and guitar companies make less left-handed gear, mostly because of supply and demand.
Of the 800 guitars produced by Tom Anderson Guitarworks per year, only 30 are left-handed models, Anderson told lefty guitar blog leftyfretz.com.
For that reason, many left-handed people — Duane Allman, Mark Knopfler, Billy Corgan, Noel Gallagher and others — have opted to play guitar right-handed.
Still, some of the best to pick up the instrument are southpaws. Which, of course, prompted us to rank the top 10 lefty guitarists.
By Kevin Coffey / World-Herald staff writer