She attended Queens College, where she was a classmate - and girlfriend - of Neil Sedaka and inspired Sedaka's first hit, "Oh! Carol." She responded with her own song "Oh! Neil." "Oh! Carol was a much bigger hit.
She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. In 2009, Carole King was inducted into the "Hit Parade" Hall of Fame.
She holds the record for the longest time for an album by a female to remain on the charts and the longest time for an album by a female to hold the #1 position, both for Tapestry.
All told, Carole King and her former husband Gerry Goffin wrote more than two dozen chart hits for numerous artists during the 1960s, many of which have become standards. As a singer, King's album Tapestry topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks, in 1971, and remained on the charts for more than six years.
In 2000, Joel Whitburn, a Billboard Magazine pop music researcher, named her the most successful female songwriter of 1955-99, because she wrote or co-wrote 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
She was most successful as a performer in the first half of the 1970s, although she was a successful songwriter long before and long after.
Born Carol Klein (she added the "e" to her first name) in Manhattan, New York, she grew up in Brooklyn. She learned the piano, then began singing with a vocal quartet called the Co-Sines at James Madison High School. As a teenager dreaming of success in entertainment, she give herself a new last name, settling on "King" after paging through a telephone directory. In addition to Neil Sedaka, at Queens College, she was friends with Paul Simon and Gerry Goffin.
Goffin and King formed a songwriting partnership for Aldon Music in New York City. Their partnership's first success was "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," recorded by The Shirelles and written when King was 18. It topped the American charts in 1961, becoming the first No. 1 hit by a girl group. It has been recorded by a dozen other artists. Goffin and King married in September 1960. In 1967, they wrote "Pleasant Valley Sunday," a number 3 for The Monkees.
(Press album cover for direct link to the entire Amazon Website):
King sang backup vocals on the demo of Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion." She had had a modest hit in 1962 singing one of her own songs, "It Might As Well Rain Until September. After "He's a Bad Boy" barely made it into the top 100, in 1963, it took King eight years to reach the Hot 100 singles chart again as a performer.
In 1971 she released Tapestry, featuring new folk-flavored compositions, as well as reinterpretations of two of her songs, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." With numerous hit singles – including a Billboard #1 with "It's Too Late" – Tapestry held the #1 spot for 15 consecutive weeks, remained on the charts for nearly six years, sold 10 million copies in the United States, and 25 million worldwide.
The album garnered four Grammy Awards including Album of the Year; Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female; Record of the Year ("It's Too Late," ); and Song of the Year ("You've Got a Friend. The album was later placed at 36 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.
• In 1988, Goffin and King received the National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award.
• In 1990, King was inducted, along with Goffin, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the non-performer category for her songwriting achievements.
• In 2002, King was given the "Johnny Mercer Award" by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
• In 2004, Goffin and King were awarded the Grammy Trustees Award.
• King was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.