McCartney performs at woman's surprise birthday. He donates his $1 million fee to charity

By Gary Susman
Updated February 24, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

For a fee, you can hire just about any musician for a private party. Even Paul McCartney. So CNN producer Wendy Whitworth learned when McCartney turned out to be the entertainment at her 50th birthday on Saturday. Her husband, financier Ralph Whitworth, offered the rock legend $1 million for the private gig in San Diego. Accepting the offer, McCartney said he would donate the fee to the anti-landmines organization Adopt-A-Minefield.

According to the Associated Press, Wendy Whitworth burst into tears when her husband surprised her by bringing out McCartney. He and his band, who are about to tour Europe, played a 90-minute set (which, of course, included the Beatles’ ”Birthday”) for an audience of 150 that included Katie Couric and Larry King, on whose show ”Larry King Live” Wendy serves as executive producer.

After the set, McCartney told AP, ”Ralph gets to be the great husband for organizing the surprise, his wife gets a rocking party, I get to rehearse the band for the tour, and most important, Adopt-A-Minefield gets one million dollars.” Hey, Sir Paul, do you do bar mitzvahs?