Some of the greatest songs the world have heard were not necessarily the brainchild of those who put their voice to them but that of other special, yet less-recognized people known as songwriters, of which Carole King is one. She is an exceptional one as she has not only made a name for herself as a songwriter but also as a singer as well. For her incredibly successful double-threat career, Carole King has been decorated with numerous awards and recognitions, among them – 4 whopping Grammy Awards. Here is a brief, yet detailed overview of all the important facts you should know about the living legend that is Carole King.
Carole King’s Biography, Age
Upon her birth on the 9th of February 1942, in Manhattan, New York, Carole King was named Carol Joan Klein by her Jewish parents Sidney N. Klein and Eugenia (née Cammer).
At a tender age of 3, King developed a passion for music and began learning the piano with her mom who taught her.
She continued to hone her music skills and in high school at 15, she formed a vocal quartet, CoSines. During her time at Queens College, King met Gerry Goffin whom she soon married (both teenagers) and began writing songs together with Gerry abandoning his plans to become a Chemist. He didn’t regret his decision as the songs they wrote for Aldon Music soon made them stars.
Their first hit song was the chart-topping 1961 song by the Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”. In the next half a decade that followed, Carole and Gerry became the most prolific lyricists of their time. Their other hits included; Aretha Franklin‘s “(You Make Me Feel like) A Natural Woman”, “Take Good Care of My Baby” by Bobby Vee, Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion,” and “Go Away, Little Girl, by Steve Lawrence.
Towards the late 60s, Carole King tried her hands at singing her own music but her first outing “Writer” wasn’t much of a success. Undeterred, King hit it big with her next work “Tapestry” which broke chart records, remaining atop for over four months and staying on the charts for a whopping 6 years!
None of the over 20 other albums that King would release had as much success as Tapestry.
Carole King’s success in the music industry has been tremendous, to say the least. She has at least 25 albums to her name, all of which have sold a combined over 75 million records worldwide. Her songwriting prowess has seen her get inducted to both the Songwriters and the Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. Carole King, in 2013, became the first woman ever to be honoured with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Over 400 of her written songs have been recorded by at least a thousand singers. All of these feats and more contribute to her $70 million fortune.
Carole King’s Spouse and Children
Typical of music stars, Carole King has been married and divorced several times, in her case, four times. Her first marriage was to a fellow American lyricist, Gerry Goffin who is also the most famous of her husbands.
They were married in 1959 and together, the duo were very successful as songwriters, writing over two dozens of charting hits. Together, they had two children; Louise Goffin and Sherry Goffin Kondor, Louise followed her parent’s footsteps and is an accomplished singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She has at least 10 records to her name including the Grammy-nominated “A Holiday Carole” which she wrote in collaboration with her mother. Carole’s first child, Louise, in collaboration with the non-profit WriteGirl, teaches disadvantaged teens to write songs.
Unfortunately, Carole King’s marriage to her first husband Gerry ended in divorce in 1968. She was next married to Charles Larkey, a bassist, their union lasted for 8 years before ending in divorce in 1978. Together with Larkey, King has two children; Molly Larkey, and Levi Larkey. Of the two, Molly is most known publicly as she is a celebrated artist whose works have been showcased on many exhibitions.
Carole King then married her manager Rick Evers in 1977, however, the union would be King’s shortest as the regular physical abuse she suffered at his hands caused her to leave him barely a year later in 1978. Shortly after their separation, Evers lost his life to a cocaine overdose.
Carole King gave marriage a fourth try in 1982 when she married Rick Sorenson. They got divorced in 1989. It was the last time King ever considered marriage. These days, the legendary musician is doing what she knows best from her home in Idaho.