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Bill Lamb

Carole King Is First Woman To Be Awarded Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song

By December 14, 2012

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Carole King

In 2007 the Library Of Congress created the Gershwin Prize to recognize, "The profound and positive effect of popular music on the world's culture." It was named after the brothers George and Ira Gershwin who created such pop standards as "I Got Rhythm" and "Embraceable You" as well as the longer pieces Rhapsody In Blue, An American In Paris, and Porgy and Bess. Until this year all recipients of the honor have been men. However, the Library of Congress announced yesterday that 70 year old Carole King will be the 2013 recipient of the Gershwin Prize and the first woman to receive the award.

Carole King has a long and celebrated career in pop music. With then husband Gerry Goffin, she became one of the most successful pop songwriters of the 1960s. They are responsible for such hits as "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," "The Loco-Motion," "Up On the Roof," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," and "Take Good Care Of My Baby." The pair broke up in 1968 and Carole King soon pursued a career as a recording artist.

Carole King's 1971 album Tapestry is a pop landmark. It reached #1 and has spent a phenomenal 300+ weeks on the album chart while selling over 10 million copies in the US alone. Carole King recieved Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year for music from the album. In addition to her own #1 hits "It's Too Late," and "I Feel the Earth Move," the album also included her song "You've Got a Friend" which James Taylor took to #1. Tapestry is considered one of the defining musical statements of the early 1970s singer-songwriter movement.

Carole King songs have been recorded by a who's who of top pop artists including the Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Marvin Gaye, the Monkees, and many many others. She is a member of both the Songwriters' Hall Of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Congratulations to Carole King! Check out the best of her songs below.

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Photo by Jason Kempin / Getty Images

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