1. She wrote several hits in the 1960s for popular artists like Aretha Franklin, The Monkees, The Drifters, The Everly Brothers, and Little Eva.
She co-wrote these hits with her then-husband, Gerry Goffin (Listen to their songs here).
2. She had a #1 hit when she was a teenager. A TEENAGER.
The song was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” by The Shirelles in 1961.
3. In her 50+ year career, she’s had a total of 118 songs in the Billboard Hot 100.
4. Carole King collaborated with legendary producer Lou Adler for her first seven solo albums.
Writer (1970), Tapestry (1971), Music (1971), Rhymes and Reasons (1972), Fantasy (1973), Wrap Around Joy (1974), Thoroughbred (1976).
5. She won 4 Grammy awards for Tapestry, her legendary 1971 album.
But she didn’t go to the ceremony because she had just given birth to her daughter. Lou Adler went and accepted them on her behalf.
6. Her album Tapestry stayed at No. 1 for 15 consecutive weeks, which was a record for female artists.
Whitney Houston broke that record over 20 years later, in 1992, for the The Bodyguard soundtrack (20 consecutive weeks).
7. Carole King is the ultimate team player and doesn’t let her status dictate a recording session or tour.
(L-R: Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar, Russ Kunkel, Charles Larkey, and Ralph Shuckett during the recording of Tapestry.)
She wants her fellow artists to share the spotlight and have just as much success as her.
Carole with legendary backup singer Merry Clayton, working on “Oh No Not My Baby” in the studio (1972).
8. Carole did very few interviews because she wanted her music to speak for itself.
9. She played on James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James and Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon albums. They’re also best friends.
He played on Carole’s Writer, Tapestry, and Music.
10. In 2010, Carole reunited with James Taylor and their band from the ’70s to go on the Troubadour Reunion Tour.
It was the greatest thing to ever happen in all of life, and it and showed just how loyal Carole King is when it comes to her friends in the music community.
James Taylor and Carole singing “You Can Close Your Eyes” from James’ Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon (1971).
11. She’s either written or co-written every song she’s ever recorded in her career, with the exception of her 2011 album A Holiday Carole.
THAT’S the kind of songwriter everyone should aspire to be.
12. Carole King’s 2012 memoir A Natural Woman isn’t a typical rock ‘n’ roll “tell-all” book — it’s a beautiful story weaved through significant moments and people, just like one of her songs.
“I began to dream of buying some land with a small house and a much larger organic garden than the plot I had tried to cultivate on Appian Way. I had the means and the freedom of workplace to make such a move, but I couldn’t find a way out” (pg .256, A Natural Woman).
13. Her music played a prominent role in the ’70s during the second wave of the Feminist Movement.
Just by expressing her thoughts and feelings through her music, she empowered so many women who were fighting for equality.
14. She sang the theme song for Gilmore Girls, “Where You Lead,” with her daughter Louise Goffin.
15. Carole King also composed the music for Maurice Sendak’s Really Rosie.
And played Rosie in the televised special in 1975.
16. She’s dynamite with just her voice and a piano. It’s an amazing performance when she has a band backing her up, but she proves she’s just as fierce and incredible without the bells and whistles.
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” Live at the BBC (1971).
17. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, alongside Gerry Goffin.
18. She was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.
19. She’s so amazing that there’s a new Broadway show about her life called Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
The show centers around Carole’s rise to fame as a songwriter in the ’60s through her solo success in the early ’70s. (Read more about the cast and show here)
But most importantly, she’s truly an incredible songwriter and musician. Here’s proof.
“Sweet Seasons” from Music (1971)