King ready to sing Tapestry live

Carole King (far right), who soared to fame on her 1971 album Tapestry (above), performing with Jessie Mueller (right), who played King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, at the 68th annual Tony Awards in New York two years ago.
Carole King (right), who soared to fame on her 1971 album Tapestry, performing with Jessie Mueller (left), who played King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, at the 68th annual Tony Awards in New York two years ago. PHOTO: NEW YORK TIMES

Singer-songwriter will perform the whole album in London's Hyde Park

NEW YORK • 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 stage fright, did not tour to support it.

She said on Tuesday she would sing it for the first time in its entirety on July 3 as she headlines the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park in London. She said on Facebook that she would be performing with Don Henley, a founding member of The Eagles, and singer-songwriter Louise Goffin, 55, her daughter with ex-husband Gerry Goffin, who died in 2014.

King, 74, has enjoyed a revival of interest with the launch of a Broadway musical on her life, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, 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!"


Carole King, who soared to fame on her 1971 album Tapestry (above), performing with Jessie Mueller, who played King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, at the 68th annual Tony Awards in New York two years ago.

Tapestry sold more than 25 million copies worldwide 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 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.

It won a following in part by offering easy-on-the-ears positive messages at a time of political tumult in the US. King has, in later years, become known for her political activism, especially for environmental causes.

While she never played Tapestry from front to back in public, she has toured regularly in recent years. Her 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, about 65,000 people cheered and sang along as Swift hovered over the crowd on a mechanical arm in a show at the British Summer Time festival in 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".

She continued: "What made Tapestry such a staggering record, and what makes her such an incredible songwriter, is her warmth. King's songs have a burnished quality, a glow, as if they are fired up from inside her. To hear her sing them herself is to find a new keenness in her lyrics; a song such as You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman... in her voice it finds a raw, heart-deep truth, as if it has found its real home."

Concert tickets go on sale tomorrow on the British Summer Time festival website, www.bst-hydepark.com.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2016, with the headline 'King ready to sing Tapestry live'. Print Edition | Subscribe