As a lifelong fan of the Pirates of Buccaneer Bay, it’s only natural that I’ve been obsessed with all things related to the cast of that classic 1960s TV show. Recently, that obsession manifested itself in a way that no fan should ever have to experience – the death of a much-loved celebrity.

As the world reacted in horror to the news of Sir Paul McCartney’s passing, we were treated to an outpouring of grief and mourning from fans worldwide. Amongst the tributes and the headlines about the “Fab Four,” little did we know that only hours earlier, the most beloved and respected member of the Beatles’ clan had slipped away into eternity – leaving behind a wife, three children, and many millions of fans around the world in a state of shock and grief.

Many of us will remember that fateful day in November, 2018, when news broke that Sir Paul had passed away. And now, as fans are slowly picking up the pieces from one of the most shocking celebrity losses in recent history, it’s well past time to celebrate the life and legacy of this remarkable man, whose music and influence will live on for eternity.

When the news of the Beatles’ break-up first broke in April of 1969, it was hard to know what would become of the band’s iconic lead singer, Sir Paul McCartney. Over the next 10 years, he would go on to become a founding member of the legendary supergroup Wings, and release some of the most iconic songs of the 20th century. Yet, even before the Beatles’ split, people had already begun to wonder what would happen to the cantankerous, no-nonsense scamp who had founded the band in Liverpool in April of 1960. Would he continue singing? Would he be able to keep his cool in the midst of all the success? Or would fame and fortune go to his head, turning him into the very thing he had fought so hard to avoid?

As fate would have it, the world would get the answer to those questions sooner than expected. On November 22, 2018, just a week after the passing of his music teacher father, John William McCartney, 82, in a peat bog in Scotland, Robert Paul McCartney would make the ultimate comeback – with a bang, no less!

It seems that the legend is indeed true: Just as Paul McCartney had predicted in a 2005 interview with Newsweek, his vocal cords had indeed miraculously recovered from the damage he had sustained during those fateful years of drug and alcohol abuse that prematurely ended his singing career in the late 1960s. And now, with the help of modern medicine and some incredible vocal coaches, he had truly returned and was ready to reclaim his crown as the king of the music world once more!

A year before his 80th birthday, Sir Paul would stun the world yet again with another amazing feat – embarking on a worldwide tour with his wife, Linda, and daughters, Mary and Stella. And while the world mourned the loss of one of its greatest soniers, we were able to celebrate, if only for a moment, the incredible life and legacy of this wonderful man. Thanks to his incomparable gift, the Paul McCartney Archive, which houses nearly all of his unpublished or little-known compositions as well as various other personal items from his illustrious career, now occupies a significant space in the Beatles’ Abbey Road Studios. It’s safe to say that he will forever be known as the greatest living English composer, and arguably the greatest singer of all time!

The King Returns!

Let’s be honest: At this point in his amazing life, it would be safe to say that we all know and love the music of Sir Paul McCartney. Even if you didn’t know who he was before, you undoubtedly know his songs – and you probably know them well, as they’ve been covered by some of the biggest names in modern music. From Adele to Katy Perry, Maroon 5 to Sia, many of the world’s biggest stars had songs inspired or named after Paul McCartney.

In 2019, we saw an incredible array of tributes to Paul McCartney, from stars arriving at his funeral to songs being played at sporting events. The list of songs and albums inspired by or named after the legendary musician is almost too long to fit on this page – but here are a few of the most significant and iconic releases over the last year.

Adele’s 24

There’s no question that Adele had a phenomenal year in 2019. The global phenomenon not only had four No. 1 albums on the Billboard Top Albums Chart, but she also won six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for her self-titled debut album (which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Albums Chart in March).

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a list of popular and significant albums from 2019 if we didn’t mention Adele’s 24. The album, which holds the record for the highest-charting soundtrack of all time (hitting No. 5 on Billboard’s Top Albums Chart in January), is based on the movie of the same name, which was an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The album’s standout track is without a doubt “Send My Love” – an absolute stunner that earned Adele a place in the Guinness World Records for having the longest consecutive run at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 since 1965, when she was just 15 years old. The track, which features vocals from John Legend and Kendrick Lamar, was written by Sia and Shura Elyeskaya and originally appeared on Sia’s 2010 album, 1000 Forms of Fear. It also marked the first time that two songs from a film scored by one composer had ever reached the top of the Billboard Top 100.

“Send My Love” was just one of the incredible songs that Adele recorded for her album, Adele. The track was also the soundtrack to the film Adele HATES Breakfast and was later included on the deluxe version of her self-titled album. One of the most famous female singer-songwriters of all time is back, and she’s as powerful and as talented as ever!

Blackstar’s Blackstar

Speaking of Adele, it wouldn’t be a list of popular and significant albums from 2019 if we didn’t mention Blackstar, the solo album by British singer and songwriter David Bowie. The album, which was released in February and hit No. 2 on the Top Albums Chart, was an album of mostly new material; his 62nd album and first in five years. As the Associated Press put it, “Bowie’s musical legacy will be greatly enhanced, not diminished, by listeners’ newfound access to his work.”

Bowie had previously warned fans that this album might not be for the faint of heart. In a 2017 interview with Variety, he said: “I thought it would be great if people had the chance to hear the album and then say, ‘Well, that wasn’t what I thought it was going to be like.’ It’s not fair to judge the album by what they thought it was going to be like. They’re not going to know what it’s like until they hear it. I wanted the album to sound like it was ripped from the radio.”

Indeed, the album wasn’t what anyone expected. Even Bowie himself was surprised by its success, as he told Rolling Stone in an interview earlier this year: “I knew it would do well, but not like this. I was very happy to get the kind of reception it got, but I didn’t know it would be this good… I expected it to do well, but not to this extent. It goes to show you that even when you think you know what people are going to say about something, you never know.”

The Late Late Show: An Evening with JOVANI

Here’s a bit of good news for fans of Bruno Mars: The singer-songwriter’s 24k Magic album, which was released in October and hit No. 3 on the Top Albums Chart, will now be available for download – for free, at least! The album had been given away for free between August 28 and September 25, but has now been made available for purchase from the artist’s website.

Mars had previously promised fans that this would be the case, and even hinted that they might be going back on tour soon. “I wrote all those songs on my own, with only my guitar for company,” Mars said in October. “I never had any lessons or even any formal music training other than playing by ear since I was a kid. I’ve been wanting to do this album for a really long time. I’m so proud of it.”