After spending his earlier years in a private orbit, James McCartney might again retreat into seclusion when learning that fans of his beloved dad are slamming him over his appearance.
Recently appearing with his legendary father Paul McCartney at an event, James became entangled in comparison conversations. People talked about how he looked so much like the senior McCartney if he, too “was overweight and didn’t look after himself.”
The only son of the international sensation Paul McCartney, and Linda McCartney; James McCartney, mostly shunned the celebrity lifestyle–even working as a waiter–until the 2000s when he emerged as a musician.
His stepsister Heather, 60, also embraced a mostly low-profile life as an American-British potter, while big sisters Stella (51) and Mary (53) eagerly followed the path paved by their father to fame.
Spending the first almost three years of his life touring with Sir Paul and Lady Linda in their group Wings, James was heavily influenced by the pop-rock culture introduced to him by his musical parents.
“It’s hard to live up to The Beatles. When Wings toured they got slated. Even Dad found it hard living up to The Beatles,” James told the Daily Mail. “I had to serve my time as a musician and wait until I had a good body of songs and for a time when both myself and my music were ready. I don’t want to sit around. I want to earn my own living.”
In the 2000s, James played backup percussion and guitar for some of his dad’s solo releases, like “Flaming Pie” and “Driving Rain.” He also played lead guitar for his mom on the track “The Light Comes from Within,” on the posthumously released album “Wide Prairie.”
When his mom died in 1998, James admits that his ‘perfect world’ was destroyed.
“When I was 17 I wrote my first song and then Mum was diagnosed with cancer. She died when I was 20 and that’s when I went into a very dark period,” he said. He continued, “I was studying art, photography and English at college. I had spent a lot of time at home with Mum and Dad. I got a bit of flak from the college because I wasn’t really present, but I never regretted spending that time with her.”
James found solace in drugs and alcohol, and distanced himself from the family. Adding to his struggles was his relationship his dad’s new wife, Heather Mills, whom Paul was married to from 2002 to 2008.
“My relationship with Heather was not very good. I didn’t like her. But I wouldn’t want to say anything negative about her because she’s a good mother to Beatrice and that’s the most important thing,” James said, speaking of his baby sister that Paul shares with Mills. “Beatrice is adorable. She’s great, a real joy for the whole family.”
In 2007, when his award-winning dad was hospitalized and had angioplasty surgery, James reconnected with his family. “Dad’s great now but that episode made me realize how important he is to me. He was suffering in his own way [because of his high-profile split from Mills]. He was under stress. In hindsight I wish I’d been more supportive,” James said.
In 2011, Paul married Nancy Shevell, to which James says, “Nancy’s my new mother. I feel that. Definitely. She’s very genuine.”
“I removed myself from my family for a while. Now I want to immerse myself in them,” James shared. “I love Dad so much. I’m in a happy place. I’m not high, which is a good thing. I just want to be the best person I can be.”
Slowly gaining traction as a reputable musician, James released his debut single “Available Light” (2010) and then, collaborated with his dad, who worked as co-producer, James delivered his first album, “Me” in 2013, followed by “The Blackberry Train” in 2016.
Though he lived a mostly private life, he told the BBC in 2012 that as a child, he aimed to be “better than the Beatles.”
“When I got to a certain age, I realized that I was somewhat better than other kids at school at guitar and took pride and enjoyment in that,” James said (as per the Daily Mail).
“I then dreamt of being better than The Beatles. I’m not sure if I can do that. If anything, I would love to be equal to The Beatles–but even that’s quite tough.”
He even revealed he was wanting to reanimate the Beatles with the progeny of the Fab Four, including John Lennon’s son, Sean, son of George, Dhani Harrison, and Ringo Starr’s two boys Zach and Jason Starkey.
But quickly shutting down the media explosion over a Beatles incarnation, NBC reports that James clarified that it was just a thought. “Well, looks like quite some attention being given to my BBC interview! Honestly, I was just thinking out loud about playing with Beatles family friends, nothing more. My band’s going to be on tour in the UK and US for most of this year, and the shows are going great! I’m so grateful…. Lots of love to you all…!”
Recently, James appeared with his dad and big sisters at the private viewing of the “Paul McCartney 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm” exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
The exhibition features extraordinary photographs taken by Sir Paul of The Beatles’ early days.
James, looking similar to his famous dad, was dapper in a black suit paired with a white shirt at the star-studded event.
Tossed into the spotlight where he’s vulnerable to criticism, fans shared their harsh opinions of James, who is a recovering addict.
“They look very much alike! I think this is what Paul would’ve looked like (in his heyday) if he was overweight and didn’t look after himself. His son needs to start looking after himself. It seems as though he over eats, probably an alcoholic. And doesn’t look like his hygiene is up to par.”
Many, reacted to the Daily Mail writing on Facebook that James is Handsome: “They have a different standard of what ‘handsome’ is….Yikes!” writes one user, while another said, “I don’t think I would say he was handsome got his dad’s eyes but that’s all.”
Some suggested that James aged poorly: “Sorry to say this but his son looks like his father and his father looks like his son.”
Falling into the minority of cyber citizens defending James, one follower writes, “Wow look at all the women body shaming the poor guy for his looks, if it was a woman they would be all up in arms if there was any negative comments, leave him alone ffs nothing wrong with him….probably gets more women than most men in here too lol.”
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Have you heard any music released by James McCartney? Are you more likely to listen to his recordings because he is the son of a musical legend or are you the type of person who prefers independent artists?