Paul McCartney to headline Calif.'s Coachella

Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:46pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Paul McCartney will headline the opening day of the Coachella music festival in California this spring, the singer's Web site said on Friday.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held in the sparsely populated California desert, began in 1999 as a place to showcase mostly alternative rock acts aimed at young fans. But in recent years it has grown into one of the largest music events of its kind with a wide array of singers and bands.

The 66-year-old former Beatle will top the bill on April 17, followed the next day by U.S. rock band The Killers and by British group The Cure on the festival's third and final day.

"I have heard that Coachella is one of the greatest festivals in the world. I'm really excited to get out there and rock!," McCartney said in a statement.

McCartney in November stole the show at the MTV Europe Music Awards, when he accepted an Ultimate Legend prize from the pop channel in his home city of Liverpool, England.

McCartney last September played in Israel for the first time under tight security, in a show described as a make-up concert from when the Beatles were blocked from the Jewish State in the 1960s.

The bill for this year's festival also includes embattled British soul singer Amy Winehouse, Canadian-born icon Leonard Cohen, and the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

<p>British singer Paul McCartney takes to the stage to collect the Ultimate Legend award during the MTV Europe Music Awards ceremony in Liverpool, northern England, November 6, 2008. REUTERS/Phil Noble</p>