Panned By Critics And Loved By Fans

It was panned by classical music critics who described it as "easy listening" (and worse), but Sir Paul McCartney’s emotion-soaked tribute to his former wife Linda has won him the Classical Brit Award for best album.

The former Beatle began working on Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart) shortly before Linda McCartney died from breast cancer in 1998, but abandoned it after marrying second wife Heather Mills.

After he split with Mills, he went back to the work, which was commissioned by Magdalen College, Oxford, and released the finished piece last year.

Most of the critics hated it, saying it was bland and no more than "musical soup," but readers of Classic FM magazine and listeners to Classic FM radio voted it the No. 1 album of the year.

A panel of industry experts and music journalists picks the winners of the rest of the categories in Classic FM’s annual awards, which are taken very seriously by the highbrow end of the business.

"It’s such a huge honour for me to get this. If you’d told me as a kid in Liverpool that I would be at the Royal Albert Hall picking up an award I would not have believed you. How proud would my mum and dad have been if they had known this could happen?" McCartney told the audience at the May 3rd awards ceremony.