Having been recently awarded the National Medal of Arts by US President Obama, James Taylor is no stranger to musical success spanning decades and continents.
With five Grammy awards and 40 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards under his musical belt, Taylor was also inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 for his work as a singer and songwriter.
The year was 1968 when Taylor got his first big break. The world-famous Beatles’ Apple label signed him on, propelling the country folk artist onto the international stage with his self-titled debut record. But it was his second album, Sweet Baby Jesus and his musical collaboration with Carole King in 1970 that saw his career skyrocket. The album went triple-platinum and the song “Fire and Rain” has since been listed as #227 on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Songs of All Time.
Riding high on his wave of success, Taylor recorded Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, which contained smash hit “You’ve Got A Friend”. The album earned him his very first Grammy Award and eventually sold more than 2.5 million copies in America alone.
Fifty million albums later, classic songs like “Country Road”, “You’ve Got A Friend”, “Fire and Rain” and “Something In The Way She Moves” continue to inspire music lovers and artists throughout the decades. Taylor was also responsible for coercing shy and talented songwriter Carole King to step into the spotlight for their truly unforgettable 1971 Troubadour performance in Los Angeles. Of course King went on to release Tapestry that same year, which stayed on the charts for the next six years, and has herself won multiple awards and accolades.
At 63, James Taylor is still on tour, with his soft country folk music as relevant as ever.