Paul McCartney and the young ones

Paul McCartney and the young ones
Sir Paul McCartney get great press and social media buzz after collaborating with young stars Rihanna and Kanye West.

At 72, Sir Paul McCartney is super old, but that hasn't stopped him from getting down with the kids.

Last month, he played keyboard on Kanye West's sweet little ballad Only One.

Then just this past week, he played guitar on Rihanna's down-home FourFiveSeconds, which also features West.

It's a win-win situation for all involved.

Rihanna and West get to make music with a Beatle - holy cow! - and McCartney gets to hang out with a couple of hot young stars.

I wonder if a 72-year-old has to have some kind of special medical insurance to be in Rihanna's proximity. It just seems like a heart attack waiting to happen.

Anyway, McCartney managed to survive the experience, and now he's reaping the benefits of reaching out to a younger generation.

He's got tons of great press and social media buzz, a lot of it quite sarcastic. Case in point: "Who is this McCartney fella? He's got potential!"

I'm actually old enough to remember when McCartney pulled this same sort of stunt way back in the 80s.

When he was 40 in 1982, he hooked up with Michael Jackson for The Girl Is Mine, and Stevie Wonder for Ebony And Ivory.

It was the dawn of the music video age, and he was already seen as passé.

The Girl Is Mine was only a modest success, but Ebony And Ivory ended up being a No. 1 hit.

NO. 1

In 1983, McCartney took another kick at the can with Jackson, and was rewarded with the No. 1 single Say Say Say.

As for his more recent efforts to get jiggy with the youth, the jury is still out.

Only One hasn't set the charts on fire as of yet, and it's still too early to say how FourFiveSeconds will end up doing. It sounds like a hit to me, but you never know.

One thing I do know is that as long as the former Beatle's heart is still beating, he will find talented young artists to help keep it beating.

This article was first published on Jan 28, 2015.
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