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Carly Simon
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Carly Simon

Carly B. Simon (born June 25, 1945) is an American musician who emerged as one of the leading lights of the early 1970s singer-songwriter boom.

Her father was Richard Simon (co-founder of Simon & Schuster;), an accomplished pianist who often played Chopin and Beethoven at home. She was raised in the Riverdale neighborhood of New York City and has two sisters and a brother.

After a short-lived attempt at launching a career with her sister Lucy Simon (they had a minor hit in the mid-1960s with a version of the children's song "Winken, Blinken, and Nod" as "The Simon Sisters"), Simon launched her solo career in 1971 with the eponymously-titled album Carly Simon. The album contained a top-ten hit, "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be", and was followed quickly by a second album, Anticipation, the title cut from which also scored airplay. Simon's major breakthrough, though, was 1972's No Secrets. The album spawned several successful singles, including Simon's biggest record, "You're So Vain".

"You're So Vain" was a sarcastic profile of a self-absorbed lover. The song was a number one hit, and spawned one of the biggest mysteries in the rock era. Much speculation was aroused regarding its subject, with many rumors pointing to Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, who sang back up on the recording; other nominees included Warren Beatty, Cat Stevens, and Kris Kristofferson. Simon herself once acknowledged the song was about "many vain men I've known in my life". In 2003, NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol won an auction from Simon in which the prize was a revelation on the actual person whom "You're So Vain" was about. The caveat was that Ebersol swore himself not to reveal that person. The speculation continues.

Simon married fellow singer-songwriter James Taylor in 1972 (see 1972 in music) and followed up the success of No Secrets with a series of well-received albums Hotcakes (1974) and Playing Possum (1975). Her sales quickly began sinking, though, in the later 1970s, with only a few Top Ten hits, including "Nobody Does It Better" (from the soundtrack to The Spy Who Loved Me, a James Bond film) and "You Belong to Me" (from Boys in the Trees, 1978).

Simon and Taylor had two children, Sarah Maria (b. January 7, 1974) and Benjamin Simon (aka Ben) Taylor (b. January 22, 1977), prior to their 1983 divorce.

In 1980, Simon collapsed onstage of exhaustion, and largely retired from performing in the 1980s. "Why" (1982) was a hit in the UK, but she continued to scrape only the bottom of the charts with most of her singles in the 80s; during this time Simon also contributed to several film scores, including the songs "Coming Around Again" for Heartburn, and "Let the River Run" for Working Girl (for which she won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1988). She also recorded a cover of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" for Ken Burns' 1994 film Baseball.

In 1998, Simon was diagnosed with breast cancer and received chemotherapy. The singer/songwriter survived her disease, and in 2000 recorded her first album since her illness, The Bedroom Tapes.

Simon's most recent work was songs for the Disney Winnie The Pooh film Piglet's Big Movie.

List of Songs

External links