Carole King to finally sing classic 1971 album Tapestry live

Album cover: Carole King - Tapestry.
Album cover: Carole King - Tapestry. PHOTO: HANDOUT

NEW YORK (AFP) - Forty-five years after becoming a global sensation with her album Tapestry, Carole King is finally ready to sing it in public.

The 1971 work by the New York-born singer soared to No. 1 in the United States and several other countries and won the prestigious Grammy for Album of the Year but King, paralysed by stagefright, did not tour to support it.

The now 74-year-old said on Tuesday (March 8) that she would sing it for the first time in its entirety on July 3 as she headlines the British Summer Time (BST) festival at Hyde Park in London.

She said on Facebook that she would be performing with Don Henley, a founding member of the Eagles, as well as Louise Goffin, her 55-year-old singer-songwriter daughter with ex-husband Gerry Goffin, who died in 2014.

King has enjoyed a revival of interest with the launch of a Broadway musical on her life entitled Beautiful, which is being turned into a movie co-produced by Tom Hanks.

"I want to begin by thanking Londoners for making Beautiful so successful," King said on Facebook. "And now I'm coming to London and can't wait to perform Tapestry from beginning to end for the first time ever! How perfect to be doing that in the heart of one of my favourite cities."

Tapestry sold more than 25 million copies around the world and stayed on the US album chart for 20 years as the most successful album by a female artist. It won four Grammy awards, including Best Song for You've Got A Friend - the first time a woman had ever won the prize.

It also featured the hits I Feel The Earth Move and It's Too Late. It closed on (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, which King had initially written for Aretha Franklin who made it a hit in 1967.

King had been little known at the time of Tapestry, making her living as a behind-the-scenes songwriter for established acts.

But Tapestry had star power through backing musical support by Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, major folk rockers from the 1960s counterculture.

Tapestry won a following in part by offering easy-on-the-ears positive messages at a time of political tumult in the United States.

King nonetheless has in later years become known for her political activism, especially on environmental causes.

While she never played Tapestry from front to back in public, she has toured regularly in recent years, although the London show will be her first in Britain since 1989.

King in Hyde Park will be like pop queen Taylor Swift for an older generation, blogged writer Laura Barton in The Guardian on Tuesday. Last summer, some 65,000 people cheered and sang along as Swift hovered over the crowd on a mechanical arm in a performance at BST Hyde Park.

Barton added that "even if (King) doesn't hand out blinking bracelets or summon a raft of famous supermodel friends to the stage, it is hard not to hope that her performance might summon a similar level of rapture. After all, King was very much the precursor to Swift - a remarkable songwriter who captured, with pop tunes and profound tenderness, the experiences of love and life and womanhood".