Carole King Named 2014 MusiCares Person Of The Year

GRAMMY winner to be honored at star-studded GRAMMY Week gala on Jan. 24, 2014; Dixie Chicks, Lady Gaga, Bette Midler, Jason Mraz, James Taylor, and Steven Tyler to perform at tribute concert
  • Photo: Elissa Kline
    Carole King
  • Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
    The Dixie Chicks
  • Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
    Lady Gaga
  • Photo: Christopher Polk/WireImage.com
    James Taylor
  • Photo: Mathew Imaging/WireImage.com
    Steven Tyler
  • Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
    Bette Midler
  • Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images
    Jason Mraz
September 19, 2013 -- 6:55 am PDT
GRAMMY.com

Carole King will be honored as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year on Jan. 24, 2014, it was announced today by Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy, and Bill Silva, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board.

Multi-GRAMMY-winning artists the Dixie Chicks, Lady Gaga, Bette Midler, Jason Mraz, James Taylor, and Steven Tyler will perform in King's honor. Music industry veterans Lou Adler, Martin Bandier and Rob Light along with Taylor are tribute chairs. Composer and arranger Robbie Kondor will be the evening's musical director. Additional performers will be announced in the coming months.

Proceeds from the 24th annual benefit gala dinner and concert — to be held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week two days prior to the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards — will provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.

King is being honored as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of her extraordinary creative accomplishments as well as her significant charitable work, which has included a range of philanthropic activities over the years. In addition to her continuously evolving musical career, King is actively involved with environmental organizations in support of forest ecosystem protection as well as a range of political causes.

"We are honored to celebrate Carole King as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year," said Portnow. "Her contributions as a songwriter and performer have truly changed the landscape of pop music, and her philanthropy speaks volumes about her generosity and personal passions. We are also grateful to the extraordinary artists who have announced their desire to be a part of what will undoubtedly be a magical and inspiring evening."

"Carole's artistic output is remarkable in its depth. Her influence and charitable legacy are equally impressive, and her approach to art and life is enthusiastic and joyous," said Silva. "It is going to be an exceptional MusiCares Person of the Year tribute, and we also want to express our gratitude to our tribute chairs and musical director whose participation will ensure the success of our annual benefit."

King wrote her first No. 1 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" and "Run To Him" (No. 1 and No. 2 hits, respectively, for Bobby Vee, 1961); "Crying In The Rain" (the Everly Brothers, No. 6, 1962); "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva, No. 1, 1962); "Up On The Roof" (the Drifters, No. 5, 1963); "Chains" (the Cookies, No. 17, 1962; the Beatles, 1963); "One Fine Day" (the Chiffons, No. 5, 1963); "Hey, Girl" (Freddie Scott, No. 10, 1963; also recorded by Vee and the Righteous Brothers); "I'm Into Something Good" (Herman's Hermits, No. 13, 1964); "Just Once In My Life" (written with Phil Spector for the Righteous Brothers, No. 9, 1965); and "Don't Bring Me Down" (the Animals, No. 12, 1966). 

In 1967 Goffin and King's "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)" was immortalized by Aretha Franklin. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles.

King's 1971 solo album Tapestry is arguably her pinnacle career achievement. While King was in the studio recording Tapestry, Taylor recorded King's "You've Got A Friend," taking the song to No. 1. In a first for a female writer/artist, Tapestry spawned four GRAMMY Awards — Record, Song and Album Of The Year as well as Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female honors for King. With more than 25 million units sold worldwide, Tapestry remained the best-selling album by a female artist for a quarter century, and King went on to amass three other platinum and eight gold albums. Tapestry was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1998.

In 1987 King was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and, a year later, Goffin and King were awarded the National Academy of Songwriters' Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1990 the duo was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2002, King was honored with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Two years later, Goffin and King received the Trustees Award from The Recording Academy. In 2004 King was honored with a Recording Academy Trustees Award and in 2013 was the recipient of a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.

With a career spanning more than five decades, the GRAMMY winner has rarely been more active than during the last five years. King's late-career whirlwind began in November 2007, when she and longtime friend and musical partner Taylor returned to the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif., for a three-night, six-show run to celebrate the venue's 50th anniversary. Those historic performances were documented in the RIAA gold-certified Live At The Troubadour. This event was the inspiration for the pair's 60-concert Troubadour Reunion world tour in 2010, which included three sold-out concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and another trio of sellouts at Madison Square Garden. The Troubadour shows also inspired the Morgan Neville-directed feature-length documentary Troubadours: Carole King/James Taylor & The Rise Of The Singer-Songwriter, which made its TV premiere in March 2011 on PBS' "American Masters," shortly after being released on DVD.

King's 2012 memoir, A Natural Woman. In A Natural Woman, which she wrote completely on her own, shares her incredible story from her beginnings in Brooklyn, N.Y., to her groundbreaking achievements as a songwriter, as well as her first major performances with Taylor and her many years of environmental and political activism. Upon publication, King's memoir instantly cracked the Top 10 on The New York Times’ best-sellers list. In May 2013 King became the first woman to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, presented by the Library of Congress, and was also honored by remarks from President Barack Obama at an all-star White House gala. A highly anticipated new Broadway musical based on King's life, "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," will begin preview performances on Nov. 21 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, with the official opening night set for Jan. 12, 2014.

The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. The celebration culminates with the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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