Carole King examined the complicated realities of love with a tenderness and swagger rare among her more plaintive ’70s folk-rock peers. In the early ’60s, alongside folks like Neil Diamond and her then-husband Gerry Goffin, King was an endlessly versatile Brill Building songwriter. There, she elevated girl-group anthems like The Shirelles’ “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” beyond mere bubblegum, tapped into gospel’s volcanic power alongside a young Aretha Franklin, and embraced wistful psychedelia, cowriting the Monkees smash “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” Then declaring her independence with a mix of vulnerable rock and visceral soul, the native New Yorker defined and deepened the singer/songwriter era’s emotional intimacy with albums like her 1971 solo breakthrough, Tapestry. She also wrote the template for transitioning from a behind-the-scenes songwriter into a full-fledged star. Whether pairing her pained explorations of fraying romance with the seductive longing of classic R&B balladry ("It's Too Late") or strutting like a blues singer as she celebrated the life-changing power of lust ("I Feel the Earth Move"), King shaped multiple generations of confessional singers as wildly distinctive as Tori Amos, Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, and Adele.
- New York, NY [Brooklyn]
- Feb 9, 1942