Published On: Tue, May 27th, 2014

By His Side : An Ode to Paul McCartney’s Devoted Other Halves

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Sir Paul McCartney, who was hospitalized last week following a mystery virus he had been hit by while in Tokyo, was reportedly miserable for having to cancel shows and disappoint his fans. Miserable, but never lonely. Beside his hospital bed was his wife, Nancy Shevell, who has been “brilliant and has never left his side”, as a source told the Daily Mirror newspaper.

The devoted wife has reportedly stayed at the Japanese hospital for four days, spending days and nights by her ill husband. The couple has left Japan earlier today, heading for London.

Shevell, a member of the board of the New York Metropolitan Transportation, is McCartney’s third wife. She was introduced to the former Beatle in 2007 by her second cousin, journalist and television personality, Barbara Walters, while the musician was in the final stages of disentangling himself from the tumultuous marriage to his infamous second wife, Heather Mills.

According to The Observer, Walters threw a number of dinner parties to give Shevell and McCartney a chance to get to know each other better, while coaching her family member on how to behave around the legendary star and helping her beat out a number of other aspirants for Mr. McCartney’s eye, including Rosanna Arquette; her most important advice being – look at Heather Mills, and do precisely the opposite.

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Their romance first came to light in 2007, when The Sun reported that they had been seen kissing “tenderly”, after a visit to a South Fork sushi restaurant. The tabloids went on to excitedly report on the couple’s every publicly-visible move, including a road trip they took in the summer of 2008 on Route 66 crossing seven states in an ’89 Ford Bronco, and another excursion to Anguilla after the deaths of Shevell’s older brother and Neil Aspinall, the Beatles’ original road manager, who became a father figure to McCartney.

In May 2011, the man The Guinness Book of World Records called “the most successful musician and composer in pop music history” announced his engagement to the nearly-20-years-younger New Jersey-ite, earning the blessings of his rumored-ex-girlfriend Arquette, who reportedly stated that she “loves” Chevell and that “this is the relationship he should be in”, as well as his adult children, who rumoredly disapproved of his – short-lasting and sourly-ending – previous marriage, to Heather Mills.

On 9 October 2011 – John Lennon’s birthdate – McCartney and Shevell got married at Old Marylebone Town Hall, where his first wedding, to “Lovely Linda” Eastman, took place in 1969 – with Shevell appropriately wearing a dress designed by Paul’s award-winning fashion designer daughter, Stella McCartney. The couple attended Yom Kippur synagogue services the day before out of respect for Shevell’s Jewish faith, but did not seek a religious blessing for their union. At the wedding party, guests got to hear the groom perform “My Valentine”, an orginal song he had written for his bride, which later appeared on his 2012 album, “Kisses on the Bottom”, and became a top-5 hit single, in both the UK and the US.

The couple never ceases to make tabloid appearances, whether they take vacations, attend basketball games, or merely go out to eat a veggie burger. While a relatively new experience for the media-shy Shevell, this has been the life of ex-Beatle Paul for over 50 years, and the life of his first, publicly-beloved first wife Linda for three decades, since the couple started dating in 1968 and until her untimely death in 1998.

Singer/Song writer

Linda Louise Eastman, the daughter of a Jewish attorney – who eventually became Paul McCartney’s manager – met The Beatles’ star in 1967, at a concert in London. The 26 year-old American photographer, who was in the UK on an assignment to take photographs of “Swinging Sixties” musicians in London, had caught the eye of the 25 year-old mega-successful musician, who seeked her out when he arrived in New York to announce the formation of Apple Corp., with fellow-Beatle John Lennon. In September of the same year, Paul phoned her and asked her to fly over to London. The two have been inseperatable ever since.

The muse behind inumerous McCartney songs, including The Beatles’ “Two of Us”, the musician’s debut album’s “The Lovely Linda”, “Every Night” and “Maybe I’m Amazed” and hits such as “My Love”, Linda McCartney, who became her husband’s musical collaborator and fellow member of his 1970’s band Wings, tried to provide the most normal life for the couple’s children, keeping them out of the public’s prying eye. The family spent most of its time on a remote farm in East Sussex, England, and their children attended local schools.

In 1995, Linda McCartney was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died on April 17, 1998 at the McCartney family ranch in Tucson, Arizona, leaving behind four children — three with Paul and one from a previous marriage — as well as a thriving company built around her vegetarian lifestyle, a wealth of songs devoted to her, and a legacy – which continues on through her art and charitable efforts.

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