Linda McCartney Dies Of Cancer

Linda McCartney, wife of former-Beatle Paul McCartney, died Friday in Santa Barbara, California from cancer. She was 55.

Renowned in the '60s and '70s for her rock & roll photography, Linda McCartney also played keyboards in Paul's group, Wings. Born Linda Eastman, she first met Paul at an Apple Records press conference in New York City in May 1968.

When the two were wed in March 1969, it signaled the end for the Beatles, as Paul, John Lennon and George Harrison would all release solo albums within a year -- with "Lovely Linda" being the initial track off of her husband's 1970 debut album, "McCartney."

MTV audiences may best remember Linda as a carpet-bagging con-artist from the video for "Say Say Say," a collaboration between Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney that hit No. 1 in 1983. Several books of Linda's photographs have been published since the 1970s, and she recently released a vegetarian cookbook.

Linda continued to tour with Paul throughout the

'80s and '90s, and sang backup vocals on his 1997 Grammy-nominated album, "Flaming Pie." Linda and Paul remained close throughout their marriage, and were never apart for more than nine days when Paul was jailed in Japan in the early '80s.

A brief statement released from her husband said that "the blessing was that the end came quickly and she didn't suffer." Linda McCartney had announced in 1995 that she was being treated for breast cancer, but Sunday's statement indicated that by March of this year the cancer had spread to her liver.

Paul McCartney plans to issue another statement later this week, and has asked that people wanting to pay their repects to his wife could do so by making donations in her name to charities for cancer research or animal welfare.