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Say it ain't so: Mop top Paul McCartney turns 70

FILE- In this Saturday, Oct. 20, 2001 file photo, Paul McCartney is surrounded on stage by New York City rescue workers at the end of the "Concert for New York," at New York's Madison Square Garden. McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, File)FILE- In this Saturday, Oct. 20, 2001 file photo, Paul McCartney is surrounded on stage by New York City rescue workers at the end of the "Concert for New York," at New York's Madison Square Garden. McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, File)

LONDON (AP) — Paul McCartney can still rock at 70 — what more could a former Beatle want?

He celebrated his birthday in private Monday, perhaps resting up between gigantic gigs this summer, but is showing no sign of slowing down as his music is passed down to generations too young to have seen him in Wings, much less the Beatles.

FILE - In this March 12, 1969 file photo newlyweds Paul and Linda McCartney are surrounded by photographers as police escort the couple to their car after they were married at the registry office in London. Paul McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/File)FILE - In this March 12, 1969 file photo newlyweds Paul and Linda McCartney are surrounded by photographers as police escort the couple to their car after they were married at the registry office in London. Paul McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/File)

Once a pot-smoking counterculture rebel, "Sir Paul" is very much part of the British establishment now, closing Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee concert earlier this month with a mix of favorites that included a raucous "All My Loving," one of the Beatles' first smash hits.

FILE - In this Feb. 1964 file photo, the Beatles' Paul McCartney is shown on the set of the Ed Sullivan Show. McCartney turned 70 Monday June 18, 2012. McCartney turned 70 Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/File)FILE - In this Feb. 1964 file photo, the Beatles' Paul McCartney is shown on the set of the Ed Sullivan Show. McCartney turned 70 Monday June 18, 2012. McCartney turned 70 Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/File)

He's also preparing for a featured role closing the London Olympics opening ceremony on July 27 — just another global audience measuring a billion or more for one of the most popular performers in pop history.

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 15, 2009 file photo Paul McCartney peeks through the curtains during rehearsals for a performance atop the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee during a taping of "The Late Show with David Letterman" in New York. McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)FILE - In this Wednesday, July 15, 2009 file photo Paul McCartney peeks through the curtains during rehearsals for a performance atop the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee during a taping of "The Late Show with David Letterman" in New York. McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Even McCartney may be a bit nervous for that one, but he won't be short of material: Consider a back catalogue that includes "Yesterday," ''Eleanor Rigby," ''Penny Lane" and a few dozen other classics, including perennial crowd pleasers "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude."

FILE - In this Feb. 10, 1964, file photo, three members of the Beatles pose on a stack of rowboats in New York's Central Park. From the top are: Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. McCartney turned 70 Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo)FILE - In this Feb. 10, 1964, file photo, three members of the Beatles pose on a stack of rowboats in New York's Central Park. From the top are: Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. McCartney turned 70 Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo)

It's been a strong year for McCartney, who in October took his third wife, dark-haired American heiress Nancy Shevell, closing the book on his failed union and messy divorce from second wife Heather Mills. His first wife, Linda, died of breast cancer in 1998.

McCartney has appeared relaxed and almost jovial in recent months as he eases into his role as one of rock's eminent elder statesmen, a position he shares with Bob Dylan (71) and Mick Jagger (68).

McCartney has admitted dyeing his hair (which sometimes seems to have an odd burgundy tint), but his musical ability has not diminished with age.

He can still captivate a large arena with a simple acoustic performance of "Blackbird" and can shift gears at the drop of a hat for a mean, Vegas-style, pyrotechnic-aided rendition of "Live and Let Die," a James Bond theme song that has become a favorite part of his repertoire.

John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono tweeted birthday wishes to McCartney Monday, and Paul Weller made a one-day only digital release of the Beatles' song "Birthday" as a tribute, with proceeds going to charity.

In the run-up to his birthday, McCartney, a longtime vegetarian, urged the public to cut back on meat consumption to help cut greenhouse gas emissions and ease the global warming crisis.