Carole King, or Carol Joan Klein, was born on February 9, 1942. She’s one of the most prolific singer-songwriters of all time, having written multiple hits that had ranked on the charts in the US and UK music scene.
She had early success with Gerry Goffin, her first husband, and proceeded to make dozens of solo albums with ‘Tapestry’ as the most successful one. Aside from winning countless awards and honored plenty of times on the grandest stages, Carole King was also a political activist and environmental advocate.
5 Facts About Carole King
Carole King holds the record for more than 20 years in having the most number of weeks for a song at the number 1 spot.
Carole King has sold over 75 million record copies worldwide.
Carole King has written and co-written 118 hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the most successful female singer-songwriter both in the US and UK in this modern era.
Carole King has won multiple awards, including the Grammy Awards and the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize, inducted in Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and been recognized as a 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree.
Carole King has been active in political movements and environmental issues since the ’70s.
Carole King Biography
Carole’s mother was her greatest source of musical education at an early age. Her Jewish parents were hardworking, blue-collar workers to survive the aftermath of World War 2. She went on to be a music composer and arranger in her high-school years, and her passion for music had not stopped since.
After dropping out of Queens College, she went to marry Gerry Goffin in 1959. They embarked on a songwriting journey together under Aldon Music. The song “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” in 1961, sang by Shirelles, became their first hit as it reached number 1 on the US Hot 100.
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Rise To Stardom
During the following 6 years, the songwriting duo continued to make countless hits such as “The Loco-Motion” by Little Eva, “Go Away, Little Girl” for Steve Lawrence, “A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin, and “Take Good Care of My Baby” which is sang by Bobby Vee.
In 1968, King and Goffin were divorced, leaving their two daughters in King’s care. To recover her career, she formed a musical trio called ‘The City’ composed of herself in the piano and vocals, Danny Kortchmar on guitar and vocals, and her future 2nd husband, Charles Larkey, on the bass. However, they did not attain huge success.
In 1970, she met and worked with fellow contemporaries James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Toni Stern. She recorded a female version of Taylor’s hit “You’ve Got A Friend,” wherein she captured the US music airwaves. After making her debut album entitled ‘Writer,’ she was on track to make her more hit albums.
Following her debut album, her success had truly skyrocketed in ‘Tapestry.’ This contained a collection of her best works at that time, and it held the number 1 spot in the Billboard charts for 15 long weeks. The said album earned her 4 Grammys for the following: an album of the year, best song for “You’ve Got a Friend,” best single for “It’s Too Late,” and best female vocal performance.
After the biggest break in her musical career, she continued to make more solo albums, with a number of them rated as gold records. She also took on acting roles and appeared in a few TV series. Unfortunately, her 2nd marriage didn’t work out, and she married Rick Evers, who was her manager. Another ill fate befell her since she married an abusive husband who died because of a drug overdose.
The string of failed marriages was finally capped in her fourth marriage with Rick Sorenson that ended in 1987. Since then, she distanced from the limelight, and her musical activity only involved songwriting for other artists.
Resumption Of Career
In 2007, King’s career took a massive spark in her reunion performance with James Taylor in Troubadour, West Hollywood. Then in 2010, they went on a world tour with their original band members from the 70s.
It began in March in Australia and ended in May on US soil. It was a huge success, selling more than 700,000 tickets and grossing $59 million. On May 10, 2012, King officially announced her retirement from the music scene, including songwriting.
Her career earned her a spot in 1987’s Songwriters Hall of Fame and 1990’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She received the Johnny Mercer Award in 2002 and the National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award in 1988 with Goffin. In 2013, the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize was awarded to her, and in 2015, she became a Kennedy Center honoree.
Aside from being an acclaimed musician, she participated in environmental activism. From the 2000s until the present, she contributed her time supporting political movements and candidates under the Democratic Party.
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