Music stars come out to honor Paul McCartney

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Music stars come out to honor Paul McCartney

LOS ANGELES - Coldplay, Katy Perry, Tony Bennett and Neil Young plumbed Paul McCartney’s vast songbook in taking the former Beatle on a musical journey of his more than 50-year career.

They joined James Taylor, Diana Krall and Foo Fighters among others in launching Grammy weekend Friday night by honoring McCartney as the MusiCares Person of the Year.

McCartney, who turns 70 in June, was toasted for his musical achievements and philanthropic work two days before the Grammy Awards.

“It’s great for me to be here,” he told the crowd in the Los Angeles Convention Center. “It’s fantastic to hear all these fantastic artists doing my songs.”

The dinner menu even reflected his vegetarian lifestyle, from the tomato and fresh mozzarella tower to the main course of grilled seitan and roasted vegetables in puff pastry. Seitan is a wheat gluten used as a meat substitute.

The former Beatle singled out Young’s rowdy version of “I Saw Her Standing There” and “all the others putting nuances on the songs I didn’t know were there.” He was on his feet leading the applause after Foo Fighters tore through the Wings hit “Jet.”

Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin said, “We love Paul, and we’re happy to be here” before launching into “We Can Work It Out.”

It also was a working night for McCartney. At the end of the evening, he turned the vast hall into an intimate jazz club with “My Valentine,” a song for new wife Nancy Shevell, and “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” two cuts off his latest album, “Kisses on the Bottom.” AP

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