Carole King: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize In Performance at the White House
An iconic creative force, King is more than a half century into her singular career as a songwriter, performer and author. A universally renowned and beloved figure, she is known for such enduring hits as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “So Far Away,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “I Feel the Earth Move.”
King wrote her first hit at age 17, penning “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” for the Shirelles with then-husband Gerry Goffin. The dozens of chart hits Goffin and King wrote during this period have become part of music legend, including “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “The Loco-Motion” and “Up on the Roof.”
It was King’s breakout 1971 album Tapestry that took her to the pinnacle, and remains one of the best-selling records of all time. It spoke personally to her contemporaries and provided the spiritual musical backdrop to the decade. The album’s success established King as an influential force in the industry and she built a legacy of deeply personal communication through song that endures today. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists — including The Beatles, Mary J. Blige, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor and Aretha Franklin — and resulted in 100 hit singles. In 2007, King and Taylor recorded six performances that were documented in the GRAMMY Award-nominated, GOLD-certified Live at the Troubadour CD and DVD, released in 2010 and inspiring the pair’s sold-out world tour, as well as a feature-length documentary that premiered on PBS.
Among her many honors, King was the first woman to win four GRAMMY Awards in a single year, and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. King has also written songs for movie soundtracks, and, in April 2012, King’s memoir, A Natural Woman, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list.