CNN Editorial Research
Here is a look at the life of Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and environmentalist Carole King.
Birth date: February 9, 1942
Birth place: New York, New York
Birth name: Carol Joan Klein
Father: Sydney Klein, New York City fire lieutenant
Mother: Eugenia (Cammer) Klein, speech therapist
Marriages: Rick Sorenson (1982-divorced); Rick Evers (1977-1978, his death); Charles Larkey (1970-divorced); Gerry Goffin (1959-divorced)
Children: with Charles Larkey: Levi and Molly; with Gerry Goffin: Sherry and Louise
Education: Attended Queens College
Working with partner Gerry Goffin during the early 1960s, King composed melodies on piano, and Goffin wrote lyrics. They were based in the famed Brill Building in New York, an office complex where some of the catchiest tunes of the era were written for vocal groups.
King and Goffin’s songs were recorded by popular performers such as Aretha Franklin (“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”), the Drifters (“Up on the Roof”), the Chiffons (“One Fine Day”), the Monkees (“Pleasant Valley Sunday”), the Beatles (“Chains”), Linda Ronstadt (“Oh No, Not My Baby”) and James Taylor (“You’ve Got a Friend”).
Started playing piano when she was 4 years old.
Nominated for eight Grammy Awards and won four, plus a lifetime achievement award.
Nominated for one Primetime Emmy Award.
1960 – The Shirelles recording of King and Goffin’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” becomes their first hit single.
1962 – King and Goffin ask their teen babysitter, Eva Boyd, to record one of their songs, “The Loco-Motion.” The tune, which Boyd records under the stage name “Little Eva,” vaults to the top of the singles charts.
1967 – Moves to the Los Angeles area and forms a folk rock band, the City. Their only album, “Now That Everything’s Been Said,” is released in 1968.
1970 – King releases her first solo album, “Writer.”
February 10, 1971 – Her second album, “Tapestry,” is released. It hits No. 1 on the Billboard chart and stays there for 15 weeks. It is the first album by a female artist to be certified as “Diamond,” selling more than 15 million copies.
1972 – King wins four Grammy Awards: Record of the Year (“It’s Too Late”), Song of the Year (“You’ve Got a Friend”), Album of the Year (“Tapestry”) and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “Tapestry.”
May 1973 – Performs a free concert in New York City’s Central Park to an audience of nearly 100,000.
1987 – Is inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with Goffin.
1990 – Is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Goffin.
2002-2005 – King has a recurring role as the owner of a music store on the television series, “Gilmore Girls.” The “Gilmore Girls” catchy opening theme is a re-recording of “Where You Lead,” King’s song on 1971’s “Tapestry.”
November 2007 – King and fellow singer-songwriter James Taylor play three nights at the famed Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood to celebrate the venue’s 50th anniversary. King also tours Japan with Mary J. Blige and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas as “Three Great American Voices.”
May 2009 – Testifies before Congress in support of a bill that will protect the ecosystem of the Northern Rocky Mountains, by preventing development and the promotion of wilderness expansion.
April 2012 – Her memoir, “A Natural Woman,” is published.
February 9, 2013 – Receives the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
2013 – Receives the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress. She is the first woman to receive the award.
January 2014 – “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” opens on Broadway. The show chronicles King’s beginnings as a singer-songwriter and her professional and personal partnership with Goffin.
February 8, 2015 – The cast recording of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” wins the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.
January 26, 2017 – After more than two decades, re-releases a version of “One Small Voice” in support of protests against President Donald Trump.
January 2, 2022 – “Carole King & James Taylor: Just Call Out My Name,” a concert documentary, premieres on CNN.
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