Paul McCartney – Most influential living artist?

Paul_mccartney While watching Paul McCartney perform during the Super
Bowl halftime, it occurred to me that he just possibly
may have done more to influence popular culture on a
global level than any other living person (emphasis on
living). Whether you adore him as a Beatle, or
bitterly dismiss him as a purveyor of silly love
songs, it’s hard to think of anyone whose artistic
accomplishments have had such a wide reaching and
enduring impact. Obviously, there are plenty of
innovative artists who have started popular trends, or
made groundbreaking contributions that have
significantly changed the fields of music, filmmaking,
art, literature, and fashion. However, it could be
argued that few, if any, have influenced global
culture to the extent that McCartney has.

This isn’t to say that McCartney is the best musician
or the most brilliant songwriter in the world. It
doesn’t matter if you love him, hate him, or couldn’t
care less about him. It’s merely an objective
observation that seems worthy of consideration, and
which has the makings of a terrific subject for
discussion and debate among the readers of the Rock
and Roll Report. So don’t be shy, let’s hear your
opinions!

7 Comments

  1. In rock and roll music, at least, the two most colossal artists in the terms you’re using here are Elvis and the Beatles. Elvis and John are dead … ok, so is George … that leaves Paul and Ringo, and it’s no contest there.

    Not sure that makes Paul the most influential living artist … that might be someone like George Lucas.

  2. I would tend to agree with your thoughts on this matter. There is no doubt about his influence in many areas of life, thought, and certainly music. He has indeed mellowed with age, and the “mellowing” began after the demise of the Beatles and during his tenure leading Wings, and of course is continuing today. At 62 years of age, I am prepared to give the man his due recognition for accomplishments in the past, and make room for his continued ascent into old age thankful for all his contributions and willing to overlook what I have perceived as shortcomings.

  3. I was thinking something similar during the Super Bowl halftime show. The only other living musician that you might make the same claim about would be Bob Dylan. In general, though, I think the Beatles exerted a wider ranging influence over music (and pop culture generally), and Paul was the driving force behind many of the Beatles’ innovations.

  4. I was eating a meal in Kent the other night and he came into the resturant. It was then i started to think who is the biggest living ledgend, in terms of music that is, and he really came out on top. Quite ammusing the owners of the indian resturant didn’t reconize who he was, and proceeded to deny him his finger bowl he asked for.

  5. I am a big Beatles fan and normally I’d argue that John’s influence on society and popular culture far outreaches Paul’s, but you did say LIVING artist. So yes, I’d give that to Paul….because seemingly all the greats, except for Bob Dylan and Paul, seem to be dying or dead. Everyone, even people who don’t listen to The Beatles, have a day where they just can’t get “Hey Jude” out of their head. Even before they stopped touring, John handed over the position of “frontman” to Paul, so usually, when people think of The Beatles, they’ll think first of Paul, then of John.

  6. I agree. The Beatles is the most influential band of all time. Since we’re talking of living persons, its Paul Mc Cartney. Ringo Starr will probably agree. Paul Mc Cartney proven his influences on different genre of music like what he did in Helter Skelter, Back in USSR, Hey Jude, Let it Be, Drive My Car, I Will and too many to mention. He’s the most influential man in music living. Many artists of today will agree, ask them.

  7. I AGREE TOTALLY AND BEING A MUSICIAN MYSELF
    I WOULD HAVE TO SAY SIR PAUL WAS SIMPLY THE MOST INFLUENCING INDIVIDUAL IN ROCK MUSIC MAINLY FOR HIS SENSE OF CHANGE FOR INSANCE SGT. PEPPERS WAS ALL HIS IDEA ( A HUGE CHANGE)IN TODAYS MUSIC YESTERDAY HE WROTE MADE ARTIST OF ALL TYPES OF MUSIC TAKE ROCK SERIOUSLY. HCE IS ALSO VERSATILE AND CAN WRITE ANY STYLE FROM ALL MY LOVING TO HELTER SKELTER TO COKY RACOON HE IS SIMPLY THE BEST

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