in 2020 - The Year in Review

Paul recording 'McCartney III'. Photo by Mary McCartney
31 December 2020

When we chimed in the New Year on January 1st 2020, no one could have predicted what this year would bring. We’ve seen changes all over the world, but despite the ups and downs, there’s one thing we all turned to, to keep our spirits up: music.

Even though 2020 might not have been the year we expected, we shared some great memories as music fans, and enjoyed plenty of new surprises – the biggest of all being a new album from Paul, made in ‘Rockdown’! So, we recommend settling in with a cuppa, sticking on some tunes and reading on, as we remember the moments that brought us together over the last year…

Photo by Mary McCartney for British GQ


We kicked off the year with a digital Marie Kondo, reimagining Paul’s ‘Sticking Out Of My Back Pocket’ playlist and moving it to Spotify. We swapped songs in and out throughout the year, with a new theme each month – check out the latest one here! January was also a big month for celebrating Linda McCartney’s legacy: Linda’s music videos were officially made available on YouTube for the first time, accompanied by track-by-track stories from Paul.


Love was in the air in February, with a loving Valentine’s message from Paul and the launch of a cool new feature from the team at, with thousands of you sending a special message with Paul’s love songs to your special someone. In other February news, Paul wished George Harrison a happy birthday, and we geared up for the Linda McCartney: The Polaroid Diaries exhibition opening at C/O Berlin and her Retrospective opening at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.


As we all began to spend more time at home, March had us focusing on family, love and kindness. Paul shared a photo of his mother for Mother’s Day, and revealed in a ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ website Q&A that his favourite ways to unwind include horse-riding and watching TV shows like ‘Gogglebox’! Paul also showed support for Dhani Harrison and Olivia Harrison’s #innerlight2020 initiative, in support of the Material World Foundation and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also in March, we were thrilled to announce the 50th Anniversary Half-Speed Mastered release of McCartney for Record Store Day, leading up to that big anniversary of Paul’s debut album release in April…


We couldn’t resist a McCartney celebration! We threw an exclusive Spotify Listening Party and restored the 'Maybe I’m Amazed' music video for YouTube – watch it here! Of course, there was more _McCartney_-themed activity to come in 2020, although we didn’t know it yet…

As people all over the world continued to adjust to life in lockdown, Paul joined a whole host of music artists celebrating healthcare workers for the One World: Together At Home global broadcast. This historic event, curated by Lady Gaga in partnership with the World Health Organisation, featured over 100 musicians performing from their own homes. Watch Paul’s performance of ‘Lady Madonna’ here!


May was a month of special anniversaries. On International Nurses Day, Paul sent a message of thanks to healthcare workers, wished his friend and collaborator Stevie Wonder a happy 70th birthday, and then marked Peggy Lee’s 100th birthday with a photo and a memory of her as ‘a classy lady whose music thrilled lots of people all over the world’.

Sadly, May also saw the passing of Paul’s dear friend Astrid Kirchherr, who he knew from The Beatles’ days in Hamburg. Read Paul's tribute to her here. Paul also shared his memories of the late, great Little Richard, celebrating the huge influence he had on Paul and The Beatles.


In June we were delighted to announce that Paul’s acclaimed 1997 album Flaming Pie would be the latest instalment in his Grammy Award-winning Archive Collection, arriving July 31st. On June 18th, Paul received many wonderful birthday wishes from fans around the world, and shared his own message of thanks along with photos of him at 33, 45 and now 78!

Paul also celebrated Father’s Day with a tribute to ‘all the Dads out there!, and marked what would have been his old friend Stuart Sutcliffe’s 80th birthday. We also lost the iconic Vera Lynn this month, who Paul described as a strong and inspiring lady who has done so much for Britain’.

Of course, June was a month that demanded social change and action, as the world reacted to the shocking death of George Floyd in the US. Paul voiced his support for Black Lives Matter and the importance of working together to overcome racism, and shared anti-racism resources on his social media pages. Read his full statement here.


July brought the hotly anticipated release of the Flaming Pie Archive Collection, on formats including a 5CD/2DVD/4LP Collector’s Edition, a 5CD/2DVD Deluxe Edition, plus 3LP, 2LP and 2CD editions, and a release on streaming platforms. Three Flaming Pie tracks received special EP releases, with ‘Young Boy’‘The World Tonight’ and 'Beautiful Night all remastered with additional home recordings, and we also released remastered music videos on Paul’s YouTube channel – watch here!

July also marked a big birthday for Paul’s bandmate and dear friend Ringo Starr, and Paul sent his wishes to ‘SIR RICHARD’. Later, Paul paid tribute to United States Representative John Lewis after his passing, saying 'he was such a great leader who fought with honesty and bravery for civil rights in America'.

And as the coronavirus pandemic continued, Paul joined artists, promotors, agents, venues and music lovers in asking the UK government to protect the live music industry. As part of the 'Let The Music Play' initiative, he encouraged others to share photos and videos of their last concert.


In August, Paul starred on the cover of British GQ, with beautiful new photography taken by Mary McCartney at home during lockdown. Paul also highlighted environmental issues this month, showing his support for the Stop Ecocide campaign by signing up as an Earth Protector, and also speaking to Lily Cole about the impact of the meat industry on the environment. Listen to Lily’s podcast here!


Did you spot yourself in the ‘Great Day’ fan video? In September, we released a new video featuring fans and their loved ones dancing, singing, and having a great day at home listening to the Flaming Pie Archive Collection track. We also added new merch lines to Paul’s online store this month, including new lines for McCartneyFlaming PieHey Grandude! Browse the new collections here.


In true ‘trick or treat’ style, October was a month packed full of surprises – and the biggest surprise was the announcement of Paul’s brand new studio album, McCartney III, coming in December! Some of you spotted the hints and teases we dropped along the way, from the dice rolling across the screen on McCartney and McCartney II tracks on Spotify, the hidden dice emojis throughout Paul’s social media and a cryptic triptych of Paul’s phone photos.

McCartney III was announced with a stunning new trailer and some brand new images of Paul, taken by Mary McCartney in his studio in Sussex. The album cover also features art designed by Ed Ruscha, and photography by nephew Sonny McCartney (it’s a family affair!). Paul spoke to music publication Loud & Quiet about McCartney III, and also gave an interview to BBC 6 Music. Then, we sat down with Paul and quizzed him on the recording process – find out what he had to say with a special McCartney III edition of ‘You Gave Me The Answer’.

Paul also marked two very special anniversaries in October, sharing a message on social media wishing his wife Nancy a happy wedding anniversary, and another message for John Lennon’s 80th birthday. Paul was also interviewed for the #JohnLennonAt80 celebrations by Alec Baldwin on Sirius XM, and by John’s son Sean Ono Lennon on BBC Radio 2.


As we rolled from November into December, all attention was on McCartney III! On November 12th, some of you caught on to a social media teaser showing 13 dice emojis, hinting that something new was coming... The next day all was revealed, when Paul spoke to another artist who made a lockdown album for the December issue of Rolling Stone: Taylor Swift. Read the interview here. Paul also featured on the cover of Uncut magazine in the UK, and appeared on the Smartless podcast, which you can listen back to here. Then, four streaming-only EPs were released in the lead-up to the new album, titled HomeHolidaysFamily and Love.

Another special release from Paul arrived on November 7th, with the remastered version of Paul’s iconic Rupert The Bear-inspired song ‘We All Stand Together’ getting a special digital and limited edition picture disc vinyl reissue. The music video also got a makeover – you can watch the restored 4K version now on YouTube! This was all in celebration of Rupert The Bear’s 100th anniversary, which included a 4K premiere of Paul’s animated Rupert The Bear film Rupert and the Frog Song and a performance by the LIPA 4-16 choir of ‘We All Stand Together’, filmed outside the Paul McCartney auditorium.


Blink and you missed it – a LOT happened in December! Here at, it made sense to cram the last month of 2020 with as much good news as possible, with all the activity around the release of McCartney III!

Amazon Music kick-started the countdown to the new album with the #12DaysOfPaul project, which saw billboards in 12 cities around the world plastered with songs and sheet music from McCartney III. This resulted in some pretty amazing cover versions – find out more here. Spotify launched McCartney III: The Enhanced Playlist’, which started with exclusive insights from Paul into McCartney and McCartney II, followed by a track-by-track when the new album was released on December 18.

Over on Apple Music, Paul was interviewed by Zane Lowe where they discussed lockdown, songwriting, Dolly Parton and more. Paul also sat down with Idris Elba for a BBC Special ‘When Idris Elba Met Paul McCartney’, broadcast on BBC One and BBC Radio 2. US fans spotted Paul on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, in a special segment on CBS Sunday Morning, and also caught him on air chatting to Howard Stern!

Ahead of the world premiere of the McCartney III music video ‘Find My Way’, directed by Roman Coppola, Paul spoke to Chris Rock via video call for a special episode of RELEASED on YouTube. He then shared a special message for fans on TalkShopLive, giving everyone an opportunity to buy McCartney III while watching the video.

Paul also celebrated the album release by joining TikTok, with an exclusive look behind the scenes in the recording studio and at the album cover shoot. He also made songs from his back catalogue and from McCartney III available for the first time on the platform – check out Paul’s TikTok account here.

Then, we got to hear all about McCartney III in Paul’s own words, starting with #TimsTwitterListeningParty where Paul shared memories and photos from recording the album from his Twitter account. Paul took to Reddit, asking music fans to ‘Ask Me Anything’ – read his answers here! There was also an exclusive album track-by-track in NME, and we rounded off the year by passing the mic to fans on social media for a special McCartney III edition of ‘You Gave Me The Answer’.

The day after the winter solstice, the short animated film ‘When Winter Comes’ was released. This was the project that started McCartney III off, as Paul went into the studio intending to create music for animator Geoff Dunbar’s film, and went on to make an entire album! Paul also gave a preview of two new film projects coming in 2021 – a new documentary series event, featuring Paul in conversation with Rick Rubin, and a sneak peek at Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back film, coming to Disney Plus.

Of course, all eyes were on the charts as we came to the end of the month… And sure enough, McCartney III was a number one album! Paul thanked everyone in the UK who helped get the record to the top position, and expressed his excitement at his Billboard number one in the sales chart. McCartney III was also number one in the US vinyl chart, and incredibly had the third biggest one-week vinyl sales in Soundscan history.

So, it has been a very merry holiday season! Paul wished everyone a happy Hannukah, and shared a special Christmas message. On Christmas Day, the BBC celebrated by showing Paul’s 2018 Cavern Club performance, which can also be found on BBC iPlayer.

2020 was certainly a year like no other, but we hope you’ve enjoyed some of these great moments with us at When we find ourselves in times of trouble, music gives us hope and brings us together like nothing else. Sending love and best wishes from ours to yours, and here’s to a safe and happy 2021!