Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 23rd 2013 Contents B21
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Carole King isn t done with music--- not yet any-
The 71-year-old singer-songwriter known for such
hits as (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
and You ve Got A Friend was awarded the US s highest
prize for popular music at a concert Tuesday. She
received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at the
Library of Congress and was also honoured yesterday
by President Barack Obama at the White House.
King told The Associated Press it s a tremendous
honour to be recognised at such an historic place
with a place in history that she never would have
expected. King is the first woman to receive the
Gershwin Prize. Previous honorees include Paul
McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.
"It is yet another of the many important messages
to young women that women matter, women make
a difference," King said. "That popular music is recog-
nised by the Library of Congress as being worthy of
a place in history is especially significant to me."
A concert in King s honour was held yesterday at
the White House. Among those performing were
Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli
Sande, James Taylor and Trisha Yearwood. The concert
will be broadcast on May 28 on the Public Broad-
Last year, King hinted that she would like to retire
from music as her memoir, A Natural Woman, began
to sell. But since then, she s gone on tour in Australia
and plans to sing at a benefit concert to support vic-
tims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
King plans to introduce a song she wrote with Hal
David, entitled I Believe in Loving You, as a single
next month as a tribute to David, who won the Gersh-
win prize and died last year.
"I m hoping that this will become a song that
people will want to play at their weddings," she said.
"It s so romantic. Hal is such a great writer, and his
words live on forever."
King said she s staying too busy to retire.
This month she received an honorary doctorate
from the Berklee College of Music along with Willie
Nelson and Annie Lennox. There s even a Broadway
musical in the works based on King s life.
"I still feel that it would be lovely to retire, but
that time is not yet here apparently," she said.
King got her start in music from the time she could
barely reach the piano growing up in Brooklyn, New
York, constantly asking her mother, "What s that
note?" The piano, she said, brought a "magical con-
nection" for her innate interest in music. She was
hooked from the start, she said.
"I think I was drawn to it and it was drawn to me.
Whatever it was, it was not something I tried to
manipulate," King said. "The only thing I did do was
seek to have the songs heard."
King wrote her first No 1 hit at age 17 with Will
You Love Me Tomorrow for the Shirelles with her
then-husband Gerry Goffin. Her breakout 1971 album
Tapestry remains one of the best-selling records of
all time. It is the first female solo album to reach
Diamond status, surpassing 10 million copies sold.
The album included No 1s It s Too Late and I Feel
the Earth Move, as well as You ve Got a Friend record-
ed by James Taylor.
Hundreds of artistes have recorded her songs,
including The Beatles, Mary J Blige, Cher, Phil Collins,
Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand and many others.
That s in part what makes King so remarkable,
said Librarian of Congress James Billington.
"When the Beatles got off the plane, the first
person they wanted to meet was Carole King when
they first came to America," he said. "She was kind
of a phenomenon among the performers themselves.
That s an important endorsement."
In 1990, King and Goffin were inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Singer Colbie Caillat, who performed Will You
Love Me Tomorrow in King s honour Tuesday night,
told the AP she grew up listening to King s records,
especially Tapestry, at home with her parents. She
said she most admires the honesty in King s music
and the simple chords that allow melodies and vocals
"When I think of her, my heart just has a warm
spot because her songs just inspire me to be better
as a songwriter and to be genuine and honest and
open in my lyrics and melodies," Caillat said. "With
the tone of her voice, she doesn t try too much. She
just lets it be what it is."
Producers aim to replay King s rise to fame next
year on Broadway with Beautiful: The Carole King
Musical. But King is keeping her distance. Her daugh-
ter and manager, Sherry Kondor, is shepherding the
project. King said she went to a reading for the pro-
duction but couldn t stay through the end. It was
just too painful.
The story focuses on the 1960s when King was
married to Goffin and her rise to become a musical
icon, as well as their personal difficulties along the
"I love the idea. I support it. I think it s a wonderful
story in many ways that will have resonance for peo-
ple," she said. "Maybe there are things people can
learn from my mistakes and also what I did right."
Carole King gets top music award
Singer-songwriter Carole King, performs during an event to honour her with the
Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, at the Library of Congress on May 21 in
Washington. AP PHOTO
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