Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Saturday, 18 April 2009 16:27 UK

Sir Paul dedicates show to Linda

By Ruth Barnes
6 Music News

Sir Paul McCartney at Coachella
Sir Paul's set included two encores and ended with a Hey Jude sing-a-long

Sir Paul McCartney has headlined the Coachella music festival in the Californian desert on the anniversary of the death of his wife Linda.

In an emotional performance, the ex-Beatle dedicated The Long and Winding Road and My Love to Linda, who died from breast cancer in 1998.

He played a two-and-a-half hour set for 75,000 fans on the first night of the festival, one of the biggest in the US.

The Killers and The Cure are topping the bill on Saturday and Sunday.

Sir Paul told the BBC the significance of the date meant he almost did not agree to perform.

"Linda introduced me to the desert because she used to go to Arizona a lot, so I just fell in love with it," he said.

"At first I thought, oh god, I can't do a show on that day. But then it was like, well, no, it's the desert, it's music, it's rock 'n' roll... I'm doing it for Linda tonight."

The rock star was married to Linda for 29 years. He married again in 2002, to Heather Mills, but the couple divorced last year.

Morrissey at Coachella
Morrissey was among the other British stars at Coachella

Sir Paul's Coachella set included two encores and ended with a massive Hey Jude sing-a-long.

It was his first performance at the show, held 120 miles east of Los Angeles, which he had only come across recently.

"I'd actually never heard of it," he said. "Nigel Godrich, Radiohead's producer, [who] I worked with a couple of albums ago, he comes here every year and he kept saying: 'I love it, I love it, I love it.'

"And I thought, well, it's gotta have something 'cause he's got good taste."

The festival features a healthy line up of British artists, also including Paul Weller, Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, The Ting Tings and White Lies.

Adele and Duffy made waves at the same festival last year, and Sir Paul agreed that it was a good time for UK acts.

"We make good music, that's the nice thing about Britain," he said. "We seem to produce people who love rock 'n' roll, love soul, dance music... whereas it just used to be America really in my book.

"But one of the big forces in music today is Britain. Yo for Britain I say!"

Figures released this week showed that one in every 10 albums bought in the US last year was by a British artist.

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