FANS around the world have wished Sir Paul McCartney a happy birthday as he turns 79 today.

Thousands of people have sent birthday messages to the rock star on social media and shared their favourite photos and memories of Macca.

One Twitter user wrote: "Happy birthday to the man who I still listen to almost every day" while others described him as their "biggest inspiration in music".

Sir Paul, who lives on a farm in Peasmarsh, near Rye, was born on June 18, 1942 in Liverpool.

At the age of 15, the self-taught musician met John Lennon and his skiffle band the Quarrymen at Woolton Village Fete in 1957, and soon after he was invited to join the band, originally as rhythm guitarist.

The Argus: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George HarrisonPaul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison

George Harrison joined in 1958 as lead guitarist and Paul became bass player in 1961, by which point the band had adopted the name the Beatles.

Ringo Starr joined in 1962, replacing drummer Pete Best - and so began the Fab Four.

By the time the Beatles signed with EMI-Parlophone in 1962 they were writing most of their own material, and Lennon and McCartney had established themselves as songwriters for the group.

Paul, a multi-instrumentalist who also played drums on some Beatles tracks, became known for his extraordinary gift for melodies and melodic approach to bass playing.

As of this year, Sir Paul was ranked the richest rock star in the world, with a net worth of 1.2 billion dollars.

The Argus: Sir Paul McCartney is 79 todaySir Paul McCartney is 79 today

He was due to embark on a series of European concerts last year, including a Saturday night performance at Glastonbury Festival's Pyramid Stage.

Instead, Sir Paul spent lockdown on his farm in East Sussex with his daughter Mary and four grandchildren, recording solo album McCartney III, which was released in December.

Last year Paul also revealed he regularly speaks to his late Beatles bandmate George Harrison through a tree at the entrance to his home in Peasmarsh.

He told US broadcaster NPR that the fir tree was given to him by George shortly before his death in 2001 and his spirit now inhabits it.

He said: “George was very into horticulture, he was a really good gardener.

“He gave me the tree as a present. It’s a big fir tree and it’s by my gate.

“As I was leaving my house, I got out of the car, closed the gate and looked up at the tree and said, ‘Hi, George’.

“There he is, growing strongly. That takes me back to the time when I hitch-hiked with him. George and John Lennon still have an ever-present presence.”