Carole King Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Carole King        

Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter; "You've Got a Friend" and "It's Too Late"

Carole King's amazing musical gift was apparent from the time she was a toddler. Already an accomplished pianist by the time she turned 10, King began writing a multitude of songs by her early teens. She attended Queens College in New York, where she met Neil Sedaka, Paul Simon, and Gerry Goffin— all future famous songwriters like herself.

She began a romantic and songwriting partnership with Goffin. The duo so impressed music publisher Don Kirshner that he signed them to his Aldon Music empire, where they established themselves immediately by writing the hit singles "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" for The Shirelles, "Take Good Care of My Baby" for Bobby Vee, and "Up on the Roof" for the Drifters.

As the 1960s progressed, the Goffin/King partnership flourished and the couple wrote dozens of hit singles, including "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)" for Aretha Franklin, "Goin' Back" for Dusty Springfield and The Byrds and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" for the Monkees. Though she never felt out of place as a woman navigating the testosterone-heavy world of the music industry, King did realize she was different from her housewife peers.

The Goffin/King partnership came under increasing strain as the 1960s continued. Even as their songwriting matured, their relationship fell apart as Goffin's numerous infidelities took their toll. King and Goffin jointly formed a small record label, Tomorrow, but it soon disintegrated along with their marriage. King famously documented her relationship's collapse in her 1967 solo song, "The Road to Nowhere." King and Goffin divorced the following year and she officially began her solo career.

In 1968, she moved with her two daughters to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles to join fellow musicians James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, among others, in a creative songwriting community. She met Toni Stern, a female lyricist, with whom she wrote the single, "It's Too Late," a song that would later become one of her biggest hits as a singer.

By the end of 1970, King began to devote herself exclusively to singing her own songs. Although her first solo effort, Writer, would prove to be a bust, her second album, Tapestry, released in 1971, would go on to stay at No. 1 on the Billboard charts for a record-breaking 15 weeks; it stayed on the charts in some form for a stunning six years. Tapestry remained the longest-tenured album in the top spot until it was finally beaten out by Michael Jackson's Thriller in 1982. Some of the hits from Tapestry were earlier King compositions reclaimed in her own voice. She also added some new singles: "So Far Away," "I Feel the Earth Move," and "You've Got a Friend" (later a No. 1 hit for her friend James Taylor).

Her follow-up album, Music, produced a No. 1 hit in "Sweet Seasons" and reached gold but failed to achieve the soaring status and sales as its predecessor. King's next few albums, Rhymes and Reasons, Wrap Around Joy, Fantasy, and Thoroughbred, were all certified gold as well. With Thoroughbred, she reunited with ex-husband Gerry Goffin as well as collaborated with James Taylor, David Crosby, and Graham Nash.

Her last album to achieve some commercial success was Pearls (1980), which contained performances of songs written by her and Goffin years earlier. Later, King mainly wrote singles for film, television and other artists, effectively ending her career as a singer for a number of years.

The 1980s and 1990s saw a dip in her prolific songwriting, but not her active lifestyle. King has been working with the Alliance for the Wild Rockies since 1990, advocating for the passage of the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA); she testified before Congress twice in support of the legislation. She also became involved in electoral politics, becoming a strong supporter of Democratic candidates John Kerry and Hillary Clinton in 2004 and 2008, respectively.

By the late 1990s, King was ready to launch something of a comeback in the music industry. She penned the hit "The Reason" for Celine Dion in 1997 and later performed it alongside the Canadian singer at VH1's Divas Live concert. In 2004, Cole recorded a well-received live album on her Living Room Tour. More recently, in 2007 she bridged divides of generation and genre by touring Japan with R&B star Mary J. Blige and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. In 2010, she linked up with longtime friend James Taylor for the Troubador Reunion Tour.

Over the course of her long career, she penned over 400 songs that have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists. In 2013, King made music history as the first woman to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

News


Person of the Week: Folk Crooner Carole King Honored by Obama ...

Singer-songwriter talks classic hits, her surprising secret for personal fulfillment.

Carole King Named MusiCares Person of the Year | Music News ...

Carole King will receive the MusiCares 2014 Person of the Year award at a ceremony during next year's Grammy week. King will accept the award at the.

Carole King Musical Aims for Broadway | Music News | Rolling Stone

A new musical centered around Carole King's life and career is set for a spring 2014 opening on Broadway. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will be w.

Related Speakers View all


More like Carole