Paul McCartney Leads Linda Tribute
4/11/99 - 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.
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.
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."
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 favorite songs, Ricky Nelson's "Lonesome Town," plus 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.
The evening was organized 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 humor."