Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Sunday, April 11, 1999 Published at 00:15 GMT 01:15 UK


Paul McCartney leads Linda tribute

Sir Paul leads a celebrity ensemble

Sir Paul McCartney joined a host of pop stars on Saturday night to pay tribute to the life and works of his wife Linda at a special concert in London's Royal Albert Hall.

The BBC's Marianne Degen: "Paul took to the stage to a standing ovation"
It had been thought that Sir Paul would not attend, having made few public appearances since Linda died, aged 56, last year following a long battle with breast cancer.

George Michael, The Pretenders, Elvis Costello and Tom Jones also appeared to celebrate the life of the photographer and dedicated animal welfare supporter.

[ image: Sir Paul and Linda:
Sir Paul and Linda: "She's here"
The evening was hosted by comedian Eddie Izzard, who reminded the audience that proceeds from the event were going to animal charities.

"Some bunny rabbit's going to go: 'Hey, those guys rocked for us'," he said.

Sinead O'Connor, Des'ree and M People vocalist Heather Small also appeared, along with Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, Neil Finn, Marianne Faithfull and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Sir Paul arrived on stage to tumultuous cheers from the 5,000-strong audience, as a chorus of famous names joined him in a rendition of The Beatles' Let It Be.

'There was a power'

It was his first public performance since his wife died and only his second in two years. He also played one of the couple's favourite songs, Ricky Nelson's Lonesome Town, and his 1963 hit All My Loving.

His voice cracked with emotion as he told the audience: "She's with us, she's loving it."

He said fans' expressions of support had convinced him to attend.

"We could see there was a power," he said.

'Go veggie'

The evening was organised by Linda's friends Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, director Kevin Godley and scriptwriter Carla Lane to "reflect something of Linda's personality and her upbeat sense of humour".

Chrissie Hynde, herself an enthusiastic animal rights campaigner, told the crowd to "go veggie".

George Michael, playing his first live concert for nearly three years, said he was supporting the event because "my mother lost the same fight, the same battle that Linda lost" against breast cancer.

The show will be broadcast on BBC One on Sunday.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Entertainment Contents

TV and Radio
New Media

Relevant Stories

09 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Stars and fans remember Linda

25 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Linda's last song 'banned'

18 Dec 98 | Entertainment
Sir Paul remembers Linda online

Internet Links

Paul McCartney

Linda McCartney

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.