Carole King (born February 9, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. King and her former husband Gerry Goffin wrote more than two dozen hits during the 1960s, many of which have become standards; as a singer, her album Tapestry topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks in 1971 and remained on the charts for more than six years.
King was most successful as a performer in the first half of the 1970s, although she was a successful songwriter long before and long after that. She had her first hit as a songwriter in 1960 at the age of 18 with, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” which she wrote with Gerry Goffin. In 1997 she co-wrote “The Reason” for Celine Dion.
King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry. Her most recent album is The Living Room Tour, which reached high on the charts in its first week after being in Starbucks television advertisements.
She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting, along with Gerry Goffin. She holds the record for the longest time for an album by a female to remain on the charts and the longest time for an album by a female to hold the #1 position, both for Tapestry. Born Carol Klein (she added the “e” to her first name) in 1942 to a Jewish household in Manhattan, New York, King grew up in Brooklyn and started out playing piano and moved on to singing, forming a vocal quartet called the Co-Sines at James Madison High School. As a teenager dreaming of having a successful entertainment career, she decided to give herself a new last name, stumbling upon “King” in the telephone book. She attended Queens College, where she was a classmate of Neil Sedaka and inspired Sedaka’s first hit, “Oh! Carol.” She wrote “Oh! Neil” in return. At Queens College, she befriended Paul Simon and Gerry Goffin.
Goffin and King formed a songwriting partnership for Aldon Music in the Brill Building. Their partnership’s first success was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” recorded by The Shirelles. It topped the American charts in 1961, the first hit by a girl group. It was later recorded by Linda Ronstadt, Ben E King, Dusty Springfield, Laura Branigan, Little Eva, Roberta Flack, The Four Seasons, Bryan Ferry and Dionne Warwick as well as King herself.
“I Feel The Earth Move”
Goffin and King married in September 1960 and had two daughters, Louise Goffin and Sherry Goffin Kondor, both also musicians.
In 1965, Goffin and King wrote a theme song for Sidney Sheldon‘s television series, I Dream of Jeannie, but an instrumental by Hugo Montenegro was used instead. Goffin and King’s 1967 song, “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” a number 3 for The Monkees, was inspired by their move to suburban West Orange, New Jersey. Goffin and King also wrote for Head, the Monkees’ film.
Goffin and King divorced in 1968 but Carole consulted Goffin on music she was writing. King lost touch with Goffin because of his declining mental health and the effect it had on their children. 
In 1967 King had a hit “Windy Day” with The Executives. In 1968, she was hired with Toni Stern to write for Strawberry Alarm Clock – “Lady of the Lake” and “Blues for a Young Girl Gone”—which appeared on the album, The World in a Seashell.
Title song, “Music” from the Carole King Music Album, 1972
King sang backup vocals on the demo of Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion”. She had had a modest hit in 1962 singing one of her own songs, “It Might As Well Rain Until September” (22 in the US and top 10 in the UK, later a hit in Canada for Gary and Dave), but after “He’s a Bad Boy” made 94 in 1963, it took King eight years to reach the Hot 100 singles chart again as a performer.
As the ’60s waned, King helped start Tomorrow Records, divorced Goffin and married Charles Larkey (of the Myddle Class), with whom she had two children (Molly and Levi). Moving to the West Coast, Larkey, King and Danny Kortchmar formed The City, which made one album, Now That Everything’s Been Said, a commercial failure. King made Writer (1970),also a commercial failure.
King followed Writer in 1971 with Tapestry, featuring new folk-flavored compositions, as well as reinterpretations of two of her songs, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Tapestry was an instant success. With numerous hit singles – including a #1 hit, (or two #1 hits if “I Feel the Earth Move” is included) –Tapestry held the #1 spot for 15 consecutive weeks, remained on the charts for nearly six years, sold 10 million copies in the United States, and 25 million worldwide. The album garnered four Grammy Awards including Album of the Year; Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female; Record of the Year (“It’s Too Late,” lyrics by Toni Stern); and Song of the Year (“You’ve Got a Friend”). The album signalled the era of platinum albums, though it was issued prior to the invention of the platinum certification by the RIAA. It would eventually be certified Diamond.
“Beuatiful” from the Tapestry album
Tapestry was the top-selling solo album until Michael Jackson‘s Thriller in 1982. The album was later placed at 36 on Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list.  In addition, “It’s Too Late” was placed at #469 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Carole King: Music was released in December 1971, certified gold on 9 December 1971. It entered the top ten at 8, becoming the first of many weeks Tapestry and Carole King: Music would occupy the top 10 simultaneously. The following week it rose to 3, and finally #1 on January 1, 1972, staying there for three weeks. The album also spawned a top 10 hit, “Sweet Seasons” (US #9 and AC #2). Music stayed on the Billboard pop album charts for 44 weeks. Carole King: Music was eventually certified platinum.
Carole King and James Taylor perform, “So Far Away” from the Tapestry Album. This clip is from a 1971 BBC Special
Rhymes and Reasons (1972), and Fantasy (1973) followed, each earning gold certifications. Rhymes and Reasons produced another hit, “Been to Canaan” (US #24 and AC #1), and Fantasy produced two hits, “Believe in Humanity” (US #28) and “Corazon” (US #37 and AC #5), as well as another song that charted on the Hot 100, “You Light Up My Life” (US #68 and AC #6).
In 1973, King performed a free concert in New York City‘s Central Park with 100,000 attending. In mid-July 1974, King released her album Wrap Around Joy, which was certified gold on 16 October 1974 and entered the top ten at 7 on 19 October 1974. Two weeks later it reached 1 and stayed there one week. She toured to promote the album. Wrap Around Joy spawned two hits. Jazzman was a single and reached 2 on 9 November but fell out of the top ten the next week. Nightingale, a single on December 17, went to #9 on 1 March 1975.
Thoroughbred (1976) was the last studio album she made under the Ode label. In addition to enlisting her long-time friends such as David Crosby, Graham Nash, James Taylor and Waddy Wachtel, King reunited with Gerry Goffin to write four songs for the album. Their partnership continued intermittently. King also did a promotional tour for the album in 1976.
In 1977, King collaborated with another songwriter Rick Evers on Simple Things, the first release with a new label distributed by Capitol Records. King married Evers shortly after; he died of a heroin overdose one year later. Simple Things was her first album that failed to reach the top 10 on the Billboard since Tapestry, and it was her last Gold-certified record by the RIAA, except for a compilation entitled Her Greatest Hits the following year. Neither Welcome Home (1978), her debut as a co-producer on an album, nor Touch the Sky (1979), reached the top 100.
“It’s Too Late”
Pearls – The Songs of Goffin and King (1980) yielded a hit single, an updated version of “One Fine Day.” Pearls marked the end of King’s career as a hitmaker and a performer, no subsequent single reaching the top 40.
King moved to Atlantic Records for One to One (1982), and Speeding Time in 1983, which was a reunion with Tapestry-era producer Lou Adler. In 1983 she played piano in “Chains and Things” on the B.B. King album Why I Sing The Blues. After a well-received concert tour in 1984, journalist Catherine Foster of the Christian Science Monitor dubbed King as “a Queen of Rock.” She also called King’s performing as “all spunk and exuberance.”
In 1985, she wrote and performed “Care-A-Lot,” theme to The Care Bears Movie. Also in 1985, she scored and performed (with David Sanborn) the soundtrack to the Martin Ritt-directed movie Murphy’s Romance. The soundtrack, again produced by Adler, included the songs “Running Lonely” and “Love For The Last Time (Theme from ‘Murphy’s Romance’),” although a soundtrack album was apparently never officially released. King made a cameo appearance in the film as Tillie, a town hall employee.
In 1989 she returned to Capitol Records and recorded City Streets, with Eric Clapton on two tracks and Branford Marsalis on one, followed by Color of Your Dreams (1993), with an appearance by Slash of Guns N’ Roses. Her song, “Now and Forever,” was in the opening credits to the 1992 movie A League of Their Own, and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
In 1988 she starred in the off-Broadway production A Minor Incident, and in 1994 she played Mrs Johnstone on Broadway in Blood Brothers. In 1996, she appeared in Brighton Beach Memoirs in Ireland, directed by Peter Sheridan.In 1991, she wrote with Mariah Carey the song “If It’s Over,” for Carey’s second album Emotions. In 1996 she wrote “Wall Of Smiles / Torre De Marfil” with Soraya for her 1997 album of the same title.
Carole King and Gloria Estefan Together -This is the first time the divas appeared together at their concert “She’s got a friend” to perform “It’s too late” at the MGM Grand Theater in Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut for Memorial Day Weekend on Friday May 22 2009.
In 1997, King wrote and recorded backing vocals on “The Reason” for Celine Dion on her album “Let’s Talk About Love.” The song sold worldwide, including 1,000,000 in France. It went to 1 in France, 11 in the UK, and 13 in Ireland. The pair performed a duet on the first VH1 Divas Live benefit concert. King also performed her “You’ve Got A Friend” with Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan and Shania Twain as well as “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” with Aretha Franklin and others, including Mariah Carey. In 1998, King wrote “Anyone at All,” and performed it in You’ve Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
In 2001, King appeared in a television ad for the Gap, with her daughter, Louise Goffin. She performed a new song, “Love Makes the World,” which became a title track for her studio album in autumn 2001 on her own label, Rockingale, distributed by Koch Records. The album includes songs she wrote for other artists during the mid-1990s and features Celine Dion, Steven Tyler, Babyface and k.d. lang. Love Makes the World went to 158 in the US and #86 in the UK. It also debuted on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart and Top Internet Albums chart at #20. An expanded edition of the album was issued six years later called Love Makes the World Deluxe Edition. It contains a bonus disc with five additional tracks, including a remake of “Where You Lead” (subtitled “I Will Follow”) co-written with Toni Stern.
In 2001, King and Stern wrote “Sayonara Dance,” recorded by Yuki, former lead vocalist of the Japanese band Judy and Mary, on her first solo album Prismic the following year. Also in 2001, King composed a song for All About Chemistry album by Semisonic, with the band’s frontman Dan Wilson.
King launched her “Living Room Tour” in July 2004 at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. That show, along with shows at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles and the Cape Cod Melody Tent (Hyannis, Massachusetts) were recorded as The Living Room Tour in July 2005. The album sold 44,000 copies in its first week in the US, landing at 17 on the Billboard 200, her highest-charting album since 1977. The album also charted at 51 in Australia. It has sold 330,000 in the United States. In August 2006 the album reentered the Billboard 200 at 151. The tour stops in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. A DVD of the tour, called Welcome to My Living Room was released in October 2007.
In November 2007, King toured Japan with Mary J. Blige and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas. Japanese record labels Sony and Victor reissued most of King’s albums, including the works from the late 1970s previously unavailable on compact disc.
King recorded a duet of the Goffin/King composition “Time Don’t Run Out On Me” with Anne Murray on Murray’s album Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends. The song had previously been recorded by Murray for her 1984 album Heart Over Mind.
In November 2009, King and James Taylor announced that they will go on a long concert tour together in 2010 (the Troubadour Reunion Tour), recalling the first time they played at The Troubadour in Los Angeles in 1970. They had reunited two years ago with the band they used in 1970 to mark the club’s 50th anniversary. They enjoyed it so much that they decided to take the band on the road. The tour began in Australia in March, returning to the United States in May.
King has appeared sporadically in acting roles, notably three appearances as guest star on the TV series Gilmore Girls as Sophie, the owner of the Stars Hollow music store. King’s song “Where You Lead (I Will Follow)” was also the theme song to the series, in a version sung with her daughter Louise. On April 9, 2009, Carole appeared as a guest on The One Show.
After relocating to Idaho in 1977, King became involved in environmental issues. Since 1990 she has been working with the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and other groups towards passage of the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA). King has testified on Capitol Hill three times on behalf of NREPA: in 1994, 2007 and again in 2009.
King is also politically active in the United States Democratic Party. In 2003 she began campaigning for John Kerry, performing in private homes for caucus delegates during the Democratic primaries. On July 29, 2004, she made a short speech and sang at the Democratic National Convention, about two hours before Kerry made his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for President. King continued her support of Kerry throughout the general election.
In 2008, King appeared on the March 18th episode of The Colbert Report, touching on her politics once more. She stated that she was supporting Hillary Clinton and mentioned that the choice had nothing to do with gender. She also expressed that she would have no issues if Barack Obama were to win the election. Before the show’s conclusion, she returned to the stage to perform “I Feel the Earth Move.”
Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, IMDB.com
Quick Bio Facts
Carole King AKA Carole Klein
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Tapestry
Prolific songwriting partnership with her husband, Gerry Goffin.
Husband: Gerry Goffin (songwriter, m. 1960, div. 1968, two daughters)
Husband: Charles Larkey (m. 1968, div. 1977, two children)
Husband: Rick Evers (King’s manager, m. 1977, d. 1978 drug overdose)
Husband: Rick Sorenson (m. 1-Aug-1982)
Boyfriend: Phil Alden Robinson (screenwriter/director)
High School: Madison High School, Brooklyn, NY
University: Queens College New York