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Paul McCartney plays surprise concert in N.Y.'s Times Square

Singer Paul McCartney gestures as he plays a surprise mini-concert in New York's Times Square, October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Singer Paul McCartney gestures as he plays a surprise mini-concert in New York's Times Square, October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Beatle Paul McCartney performed a surprise mini-concert in New York's Times Square on Thursday to the delight of throngs of workers, tourists and fans.

McCartney, 71, and his band sang tracks from his upcoming album, "New," which is due to be released in the United States on October 15.

"Wow! Really excited to be playing New York Times Square at 1 p.m. this afternoon!" McCartney tweeted about an hour before the packed mini-concert.

"Come on down to Times Square. It's all going to be happening there!" he added.

Security guards at the site said the 15-minute, lunch-time concert was kept a secret until shortly before its start.

"I loved it. It is hard not to like this band. They have been playing together for so long; they just make perfect music every time they hit a stage," Said Hamdan, 51, a teacher in New York who learned about the concert through Twitter, said.

Tawanna Flowers, a 25-year-old security guard working at the event, described the mini-concert as "awesome."

"New," which features 12 tracks including "New" and "Queenie Eye" is McCartney's first album of new material in six years.

"A lot of the tracks are quite varied and not necessarily in a style you'd recognize as mine," the singer and bassist said on his website. "But I didn't want it to all sound the same. We had a lot of fun."

On Wednesday, the singer did a special show and master class for 400 teenagers at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in the New York borough of Queens. The school was founded by singer Tony Bennett, who attended the performance.

McCartney and drummer Ringo Starr are the only surviving members of the British rock group the Beatles that also included guitarists John Lennon and George Harrison.

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Cynthia Osterman)

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