Carly Simon Carly Simon - Elektra.jpg

c. early 1970s

Background information Birth name Carly Elisabeth Simon Born June 25, 1945 New York City, New York, United States Origin Riverdale, Bronx, New York, United States Genres Pop, folk, soft rock, adult contemporary Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician, actress, writer Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano Years active 1964–present Labels Elektra, Warner Bros., Epic, Arista, Rhino, Columbia, Hear Music, Iris Associated acts James Taylor, Elephant's Memory, Carole King Website

Carly Elisabeth Simon (born June 25, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and children's author. She first rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records; her 13 Top 40 U.S. hits include "Anticipation", "You're So Vain", "Nobody Does It Better", and "Coming Around Again".

Her 1988 hit "Let the River Run" was the first song in history to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for a song both written and performed by a single artist. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994, inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "You're So Vain" in 2004, and awarded the ASCAP Founders Award in 2012.

Simon is the former wife of another notable singer-songwriter, James Taylor. Simon and Taylor have two children together, Sarah "Sally" Maria Taylor and Ben Taylor, who are also musicians.

Early life

Carly Simon was born in New York City, New York. Her father was Richard L. Simon (co-founder of Simon Schuster), a pianist who often played Chopin and Beethoven at home. Her mother was Andrea Louise Simon (née Heinemann), [1] a civil rights activist and singer. Her father was Jewish and her mother was of German, French, and Afro-Cuban descent. [2] [3]

Simon was raised in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City [4] and has two older sisters, Joanna (b. 1940) and Lucy (b. 1943), and a younger brother, Peter (b. 1947). They were raised as nominal Catholics, according to a book of photography Peter published in the late 1990s. [5] She attended Riverdale Country School. She also briefly attended Sarah Lawrence College and joined Alpha Gamma Delta, before dropping out to pursue music.


Early career

Carly Simon's career began with a short-lived music group with her sister Lucy as The Simon Sisters. They had a minor hit in 1964 called "Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod", and made three albums together before Lucy left to get married and start a family. Later, Carly collaborated with eclectic New York rockers Elephant's Memory for about six months. She also appeared in the 1971 Milos Forman movie Taking Off , playing an auditioning singer, and sang "Long Term Physical Effects", which was included in the 1971 soundtrack for the movie.

Going solo

Her solo music career began in 1971, with the self-titled Carly Simon on Elektra Records. The album contained her breakthrough top-ten hit "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be". It was followed quickly by a second album, Anticipation. The title song from that album, written about a romance between Simon and Cat Stevens, was a significant hit, reaching #3 at Easy Listening radio and #13 on Billboard's Hot 100 and was perhaps even more famous for its use in a variety of international commercials to market the thick ketchup of the H. J. Heinz Company, one of the largest food producers in the world.

The next single release—also reportedly written about Stevens—was "Legend In Your Own Time" which made a more modest impact on the charts, peaking at #50 on the Hot 100. [6] After their brief liaison during 1970–1971 ended amicably, Stevens wrote his song "Sweet Scarlet" about Simon, who also had highly publicized relationships with Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson and James Taylor during this period.


In 1972–73 Simon scored the biggest success of her career with the classic global smash "You're So Vain". It hit #1 on the U.S. Pop and Adult Contemporary charts, and sold over a million copies in the United States alone. It was one of the decade's biggest hits and propelled Simon's breakthrough album No Secrets to #1 on the U.S. album charts, where it stayed for six consecutive weeks. The album achieved Gold status that year, but by the album's 25th anniversary in 1997, the album had been certified Platinum. "You're So Vain" received Grammy Award nominations for Record Of The Year (Single), and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. Additionally, in 2008, it was listed at #72 on the Billboard Hot 100's list of the top 100 songs from the chart's first 50 years, August 1958 through July 2008.

The subject of the "You're So Vain" song itself has become one of the biggest enigmas in popular music, as this track also carries one of the most famous lyrics: "You're so vain/I bet you think this song is about you." Simon has never publicly admitted who the song is about. She hinted that it could be a composite of several people, and for many people the most likely "suspects" have always been Jagger, who sings backup vocals on this recording, and Beatty. Simon has given vague hints over the decades to a variety of talk shows and publications, saying that riddles wouldn't be interesting if everyone knew the answers to them. On August 5, 2003, she did finally auction off the information to the winner of a charity function for a grand total of US$50,000, with the condition that the winner (a television executive, Dick Ebersol on NBC's Today Show ) not reveal who it is. [7]

Later in 1973, the follow-up single, "The Right Thing To Do", was another sizable hit, reaching #4 Adult Contemporary and #17 Pop. That same year Simon performed on Lee Clayton's album Lee Clayton and co-sang on the song "New York Suite 409" and on Livingston Taylor's album Over the Rainbow and sang with both Livingston and his famous brother, James Taylor (who was, by then, her husband) on the songs "Loving Be My New Horizon" and "Pretty Woman".

In 1974, Simon followed the smash No Secrets album with Hotcakes, which reached #3 on Billboard's Album Chart and was certified Gold, though it did not match the sales of No Secrets . Hotcakes included two top ten singles, "Mockingbird", a duet with James Taylor that peaked at #5 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart, and "Haven't Got Time For the Pain", which hit #2 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. [8] The same year, Simon provided vocals on Tom Rush's album Ladies Love Outlaws and co-sang with Rush on "No Regrets" and as backup on "Claim On Me". In 1975, Elektra released her first greatest-hits album, The Best of Carly Simon , which became Simon's all time best selling disc and eventually reached Triple-Platinum status in the United States.

Simon's record sales declined considerably with 1975's Playing Possum and 1976's Another Passenger . Playing Possum was a Top Ten album, with a Top 40 single "Attitude Dancing" and two other charting singles, [9] but Another Passenger produced only one single, "It Keeps You Running", with the Doobie Brothers, as which barely scraped into the top 50. [10] 1976 also saw Simon contributing backup vocals on the song "Peter" on Peter Ivers's album Peter Ivers. She also made her only appearance on Saturday Night Live . It was a pre-taped performance—a rare occurrence on that show—because Simon suffered terrible bouts of stage fright. In the appearance, she sang two songs: "Half A Chance" and her signature song, "You're So Vain".

In 1977, Simon had a surprise international hit with the million-selling gold single "Nobody Does It Better", the theme to the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me . Simon's second-biggest U.S. hit, after "You're So Vain", was 1977's biggest Adult Contemporary hit, where it held at #1 for seven straight weeks. The single peaked one step behind Debby Boone's mega-hit "You Light Up My Life" (which became the biggest hit of the entire decade) from 22 October to 5 November 1977 and received Grammy nominations for Song Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance Female. Also in 1977, Simon co-produced Libby Titus's album Libby Titus and sang backup on two songs: "Can This Be Our Love Affair?" and "Darkness 'Til Dawn".

Simon's career took another upward swing in 1978 with the hit album Boys in the Trees . The album produced another Top 10 Pop and Adult Contemporary hit with the jazzy and sensual "You Belong to Me". Boys in the Trees was a major success, and returned Simon to Platinum album status in the U.S. It later earned Simon yet another Grammy nomination. She was featured on the front covers of People and Rolling Stone magazines that spring. Also in 1978, Simon and James Taylor sang backing vocals on two songs for Taylor's sister Kate's album Kate Taylor : "Happy Birthday Sweet Darling" and "Jason Ida". Simon and Taylor also sang backup on three songs on John Hall's debut solo album John Hall, "The Fault", "Good Enough" and "Voyagers". Simon and Taylor would also sing backup on one song, "Power", from Hall's next album, which is also titled Power (1979).

On November 2, 1978, Simon guested on the song "I Live in the Woods" at a live, four-hour concert by Burt Bacharach and the Houston Symphony Orchestra at Jones Hall in Houston, Texas. All the songs at that concert became Bacharach's album Woman , which was released in 1979. That year, shortly after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, from September 19 to September 22, a series of concerts were held at New York City's Madison Square Garden and sponsored by Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), a group of musicians against nuclear power, co-founded by John Hall. Always politically active, Simon and James Taylor were part of the concerts which later became a documentary and concert film, No Nukes (1980) as well as a live album of the same name (1979).

Simon released her last album for Elektra, Spy , in 1979. It sold poorly, although a harder-edged single from the album, "Vengeance", was a modest hit and received airplay on U.S. album rock stations. "Vengeance" earned Simon a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance Female in early 1980—the first year to feature the new category.

From 1972 to 1979, Simon sang backup vocals on the following James Taylor songs and albums (not counting compilations): "One Man Parade" from 1972's One Man Dog , "Rock 'n' Roll Is Music Now", "Let It All Fall Down", "Me And My Guitar", "Daddy's Baby" and "Ain't No Song" from 1974's Walking Man , "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" from 1975's Gorilla, "Shower the People", "A Junkie's Lament", "Slow Burning Love" and "Family Man" from 1976's In the Pocket, and "B.S.U.R." from 1979's Flag . She also co-wrote with Taylor the song "Terra Nova" on his 1977 album JT .


In 1980, Simon signed with Elektra's sibling label Warner Bros. Records. During a show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while she toured to promote her album, Come Upstairs , Simon collapsed onstage of exhaustion. She subsequently performed considerably less throughout the 1980s. Simon scored another million-selling U.S. Gold single with the hit, "Jesse", from that album. Simon also contributed the song "Be With Me" to the 1980 album In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record, which was produced by her sister Lucy and Lucy's husband, David Levine. Simon can also be heard on the song "In Harmony", along with other members of the Simon/Taylor families. Carly and Lucy contributed a "Simon Sisters" song—which was called "Maryanne"—to the 1982 follow-up album In Harmony 2, which was also produced by Lucy and her husband. Both albums won Grammy Awards for Best Album for Children.

Torch (1981) was an album of melancholy jazz standards, but suffered from disappointing sales. The Nile Rodgers Bernard Edwards produced single "Why", from the soundtrack to the 1982 film Soup for One , was a top-ten hit single in the U.K. but stalled at #74 in the U.S. She had another minor U.K. success with the single "Kissing With Confidence", a song from the 1983 album Dancing For Mental Health by Will Powers (a pseudonym for photographer Lynn Goldsmith). Simon was the uncredited singer of the song co-written and mixed by Todd Rundgren. Simon's singles were generally less successful in the 1980s, although most of them did quite well on Adult Contemporary radio formats.

In 1983, she made her last album for Warner, Hello Big Man , but this also suffered from disappointing sales. That same year, Simon performed on two albums, The Perfect Stranger by Jesse Colin Young (singing on the track "Fight For It" with Young) and Wonderland by Nils Lofgren (singing on the track "Lonesome Ranger" with Lofgren). By this time, her contract with Warner Bros. had ended. In 1985, she signed with Epic Records and made one album for them, Spoiled Girl . This too was commercially unsuccessful and her contract with Epic was cancelled.

In 1986, Simon signed with Arista Records and soon rebounded from her career slump. Her first album for Arista, Coming Around Again (1987), gave Simon another international hit with the title track (which was featured in the film Heartburn ), returning her to the Billboard Pop Top 20 and the U.K. Top 10 (It also garnered her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance).

The Coming Around Again album also featured the Top 10 Adult Contemporary hits "Give Me All Night", "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of", "All I Want Is You" and a cover of "As Time Goes By" (featuring Stevie Wonder on harmonica). The album itself was her first Gold release in nine years, and went Platinum in 1988. These and older songs were featured in a picturesque HBO concert special which was filmed at Martha's Vineyard, where Simon and her band performed live on a pier. Most of these songs were compiled for her 1988 album, Greatest Hits Live . The album continued her mounting comeback, quickly going Gold, and was later certified Platinum by the RIAA in 1996. From Live a recording of Simon's evergreen "You're So Vain" was released as a single in the UK.

Throughout the 1980s, Simon successfully contributed to several film and television scores, including the songs:

  • "Why" for the film Soup For One (1982)
  • "Something More" for the film Love Child (1982)
  • "Someone Waits for You" for the film Swing Shift (1984)
  • "All the Love in the World" for the film Torchlight (1985)
  • "It's Hard To Be Tender" for the television miniseries Sins (1986)
  • "If It Wasn't Love" for the film Nothing In Common (1986)
  • "Two Looking at One" for the film The Karate Kid, Part II (1986)
  • "Coming Around Again"/"Itsy Bitsy Spider" for the film Heartburn (1986)
  • "Let the River Run" for the film Working Girl (1988) (for which she won the Academy Award for Best Song (1988); the Golden Globe Award for Best Song (1988); and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (1990))

She is the first artist to win all three awards (Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy) for a song that is composed and written, as well as performed, entirely by a single artist (the only other such artist being Bruce Springsteen for his "Streets of Philadelphia" 1993: Oscar, 1994: Golden Globe two Grammys).

The Working Girl soundtrack album came out in early 1989, and featured more music from Simon, and as a tribute to Christa McAuliffe, who was slated to be the first teacher in space and who died in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster for whom Simon also wrote a song "You're Where I Go". McAuliffe was a Simon fan and had taken a cassette of her music on board the shuttle.

In 1987, Simon also sang the theme for the 1988 Democratic National Convention, "The Turn of The Tide", for a Marlo Thomas television special Free to Be...A Family. The song was later included on the 1988 soundtrack album of the same name on AM Records.


In 1990, Simon released two albums: her second standards album, My Romance , and an album of original material Have You Seen Me Lately . The latter featured a major (#4) Adult Contemporary chart hit with "Better Not Tell Her"—Simon's biggest hit of the 1990s. Her second children's book, "The Boy of the Bells" was also published in 1990 and she wrote the score for the 1990 film Postcards from the Edge. In 1991, Simon wrote her third children's book, "The Fisherman's Song", which was based on the song of the same name from her 1990 album Have You Seen Me Lately. The same year, she performed a duet with Plácido Domingo on the song "The Last Night Of The World" (from the Miss Saigon musical) on Domingo's album The Broadway I Love.

In 1992, Simon wrote the music for the Nora Ephron film This Is My Life, which included the song "Love Of My Life". In 1993, she contributed the song "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" for the film Sleepless In Seattle and recorded the same song in combo with "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" with Frank Sinatra for his album Duets .

1993 also saw Simon recording a contemporary opera called Romulus Hunt (having been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Association and the Kennedy Center). She also published her fourth children's book, The Nighttime Chauffeur. She also contributed to Andreas Vollenweider's album Eolian Minstrel. Simon co-wrote the song "Private Fires" with Vollenweider and was featured vocalist on the song.

In 1994, she covered the song "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" for Ken Burns' film Baseball, as well as a recording of "I've Got a Crush On You" for Larry Adler's covers album The Glory of Gershwin. That same year, Simon recorded another album of original songs, Letters Never Sent , and contributed a Christmas song, "The Night Before Christmas", to the soundtrack for the film Mixed Nuts.

In April 1995, Simon surprised thousands of commuters at New York's Grand Central Terminal with an unannounced performance which was filmed for a Lifetime Television Special. It was also released on home video in December of that year. Also in 1995, she performed on an American concert tour in conjunction with Hall Oates. On August 30, 1995, she also made a rare joint appearance with her ex-husband, James Taylor, for a concert on Martha's Vineyard. Dubbed "Livestock '95", it was a benefit for the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society, with over 10,000 people in attendance.[ citation needed ]

Simon performed a duet with Mindy Jostyn on the song "Time, Be On My Side", which featured on Jostyn's 1995 album Five Miles From Hope about her recent battle with colon cancer. Ten years later, Jostyn would pass away from the disease at the age of 43. 1995 also saw the release of Simon's Clouds In My Coffee, a boxed set of highlights from her 30 year career from 1965 to 1995.

Simon continued to write and record music for films and wrote the theme songs to several more movies including "Two Little Sisters" from the 1996 movie Marvin's Room and "In Two Straight Lines" from the 1998 movie Madeline . 1997 saw the release of Simon's third standards album, Film Noir, which was recorded in collaboration with Jimmy Webb and for which she was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Vocal Performance. She also released her fifth children's book, "Midnight Farm". Simon was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, and underwent surgery that year and again in 1998. In 1999 The Very Best Of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better, a UK-only greatest hits album, was released. Also that year, Simon worked again with the Swiss musician Andreas Vollenweider, and was the featured vocalist for the song "Your Silver Key" on Vollenweider's album Cosmopoly.

During the 1990s, the American press reported an incident between Simon and the Pretenders' vocalist Chrissie Hynde, at a Joni Mitchell concert at New York's Fez Club. Some reports stated that a drunk and disorderly Hynde grabbed Simon around the neck and punched her, although Simon attempted to put these rumors to rest on her official website in 2002. Numerous witnesses, however, claim that Simon was, indeed, assaulted by Hynde. [11]


In 2000, Simon released a new album, The Bedroom Tapes . Largely written and recorded at home in her bedroom (hence the title) while she was recuperating from her health problems of the previous couple of years, it was her first album of original songs in almost six years. Despite this, the album did not sell well, though one of the album's tracks, "Our Affair", was remixed and featured in the Gwyneth Paltrow/Ben Affleck film Bounce.

In 2001, Simon performed on "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)" with Janet Jackson on Jackson's album All for You. She also contributed back-up vocals on two songs, "Don't Turn Away" and "East Of Eden", for Mindy Jostyn's 2001 album Blue Stories. In November 2001, Simon's Oscar-winning song "Let the River Run" was used in a public service ad for the United States Postal Service. Entitled "Pride", it was produced to boost public confidence and postal worker morale in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the 2001 Anthrax attacks.

In 2002, Simon recorded a Christmas album, Christmas Is Almost Here , for Rhino Records, while she was in Los Angeles to lend support to her son Ben Taylor and his band. That same year, Simon personally chose all of the songs for a new two-disc anthology album, simply titled Anthology, for Rhino Records. 2003 saw a re-release of her 2002 Christmas album with two extra tracks and now called Christmas Is Almost Here Again on Rhino Records. The two extra tracks, "White Christmas" and "Forgive", were also released as a single. Simon also performed several concerts during the 2004 holiday season at Harlem's Apollo Theater, along with BeBe Winans, son Ben and daughter Sally, Rob Thomas, Livingston Taylor, Mindy Jostyn and Kate Taylor, along with other members of the Taylor and Simon family.

Simon produced songs for the Disney Winnie the Pooh films Piglet's Big Movie in 2003 and Pooh's Heffalump Movie in 2005. Several of her songs were also featured in the 2004 movie Little Black Book that starred Brittany Murphy and Holly Hunter. Simon appears in a cameo role as herself at the end of the movie. 2004 also saw the release of her fourth greatest hits album, Reflections: Carly Simon's Greatest Hits, which peaked at #22 on the Billboard charts that year (#25 in the UK). The album became Simon's first Gold-certified disc since the late 1980s.

In 2005, she released her fourth album of standards, titled Moonlight Serenade. A surprise hit, it reached #7 on the Billboard Album charts, her highest-charting album in nearly 30 years. She was also nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. To promote Moonlight Serenade, Simon performed two concerts on board the Queen Mary 2 which were recorded and released on DVD in 2005. She also performed a concert tour in the United States—her first tour in 10 years. Simon also sang a duet, "Angel Of The Darkest Night", with Mindy Jostyn on Jostyn's 2005 album Coming Home. The album was released several months after Jostyn's death on March 10, 2005. As one of Simon's closest friends, Jostyn was married to Jacob Brackman, Simon's long-time friend and musical collaborator. In 2005, she became involved in the legal defense of musician and family friend John Forté with his struggle against a federal incarceration.[ citation needed ]

Simon again teamed up with the Swiss musician Andreas Vollenweider for his 2006 holiday album, Midnight Clear. She performed vocals on the tracks "Midnight Clear", "Suspended Note", "Hymn to the Secret Heart" and "Forgive" (which was a song Simon wrote for her own 2002 holiday album Christmas Is Almost Here). Also in 2006, Simon performed with Livingston Taylor on his album There You Are Again, singing on the opening track "We're The Best Of Friends".

In 2007, Simon released her fifth album of covers, a collection of "soothing songs and lullabies" called Into White for Columbia Records. The collection featured covers of songs by Cat Stevens, the title track, recordings by Judy Garland, The Beatles and the Everly Brothers, as well as two new original songs. It also featured vocal collaborations with her children, Ben Taylor and Sally Taylor. The album continued Simon's recently rejuvenated high chart profile and became Billboard ′s Hot Shot Debut, entering the chart at number #13.

In March 2008, it was announced that Simon had signed to the Starbucks label, Hear Music. She released a new album entitled This Kind of Love with them in the spring of 2008. The album was her first collection of original songs since 2000's The Bedroom Tapes . [12] However, in October 2009, it was reported that Simon was suing Starbucks, saying they did not adequately promote the album—despite that it made the US Top 20 (#15) and sold nearly 150,000 copies. Simon's lawsuit stated that Starbucks publicly announced it was backing out of participation in Hear Music just days before the album came out—a decision that she claimed doomed the record before it was even released. [13]

On June 19, 2008, Simon and her son Ben performed "You're So Vain" together on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite radio.[ citation needed ]

In October 2009, Simon released Never Been Gone, an album of acoustic reworkings of some of her classic songs. [14] The album was released via Iris Records. On November 26, 2009, Simon appeared on the Care Bears float of the 83rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, where she sang "Let The River Run". [15]

On March 2, 2010, Radio 2: An Evening With Carly Simon was broadcast. Simon performed live for the first time in the UK to a small audience of approximately 100 people with her son Ben. This coincided with the UK release of the Never Been Gone album, which was released for the Mother's Day season and peaked at #45 (Simon's first studio album to reach the UK Top 100 since 1987's Coming Around Again). Simon also appeared on various UK television shows to promote the album, including The One Show and BBC Breakfast .

On July 27, 2013, in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Simon performed "You're So Vain" with Taylor Swift on her Red Tour. Swift has previously cited Simon as a musical influence [16] and "You're So Vain" as one of her favorite songs.

Film and television appearances

Besides music, Simon has also appeared (as herself) in films, such as the 1985 film Perfect , and an uncredited appearance in the 2004 film Little Black Book . On television, she appeared (also as herself) in a 1989 episode of Thirtysomething and was a guest-caller on a 1995 episode of Frasier entitled "Roz in the Doghouse". She also performed on the "Oprah" show (date unknown).[ citation needed ]

Personal life

Simon married fellow folk-rock musician James Taylor. The pair were married from 1972 to 1983.

Simon married fellow singer-songwriter James Taylor on November 3, 1972. [17] Simon and Taylor had two children, Sarah "Sally" Maria Taylor (born January 7, 1974) and Benjamin "Ben" Simon Taylor (born January 22, 1977), both of whom are musicians and political activists. Simon and Taylor divorced in 1983. [18]

In the June 20, 2004, issue of, Simon said that she no longer speaks to her ex-husband, James Taylor. "I would say our relationship is non-existent. It's not the way I want it." [19] On October 4, 2007, Simon became a grandmother, when her daughter Sally gave birth to a son, Bodhi Taylor Bragonier. [20]

Prior to her marriage to Taylor, Simon was briefly engaged to William Donaldson in the 1960s (who jilted fiancée Sarah Miles for her). [21] Donaldson described her as "the answer to any sane man's prayers; funny, quick, erotic, extravagantly talented." [22] She also was engaged to musician Russ Kunkel, from 1985 to 1986. [23]

Simon married James Hart, a writer, poet, and businessman, on December 23, 1987. The couple divorced in 2007.[ citation needed ]

Simon underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer during 1997 and 1998. There had been a lump in her breast for several years before then, but her doctors had advised her against surgery. Simon later recounted: "Then one doctor said, 'You know what, I'd rather see it in a jar than in your breast.'" She also said that she felt "a little angry with myself" over the fact that she did not insist on taking it out sooner. [24] Simon's surgery came at the same time as the death of her long-time friend Linda McCartney, who had also struggled with breast cancer. Simon described McCartney's death as having emotionally "crushed" her. [25]

In an interview published on May 1, 2008, with the Bay Area Reporter , an LGBT news service, Simon was asked about the possibility of a performance in the True Colors Tour. She responded, "The part that I could be involved in is the gay and lesbian part. The part that would be hard for me is to commit to a tour, because I'm not very comfortable being onstage. But the part that would be easiest for me would be singing on behalf of all of us. I don't consider myself to be not gay... I've enlarged all of my possibilities. I have a lot of extremely personal stories to tell about that, but we won't go into that right now. Let's just say that it just depends upon who I'm with." [26]

Simon has been close friends with James Taylor's younger brother Livingston Taylor for over forty years. Livingston has said, "I love Carly and Carly loves me. She's a ferocious advocate and supporter of my music." They have worked as a musical duo for some songs such as "Best of Friends", released in Livingston's 2006 album There You Are Again, and others earlier in their careers. [27]

In May 2010, Simon revealed she had been one of the several celebrities who fell victim to financial advisor Kenneth I. Starr, now a prison inmate, whose Ponzi scheme lured her into "investing" millions of dollars with him, which she lost. [28] [29]

In an interview with Reuters on April 18, 2012, Simon revealed that she has a severe stammer. [30]

Awards and recognition

  • Grammy Awards:
    • 1972 – Best New Artist
    • 1990 – Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television for "Let the River Run" from Working Girl (1988)
    • 2004 (inducted) – Grammy Hall of Fame Award for "You're So Vain" (1972)
  • Academy Award:
    • 1989 – Best Song, "Let the River Run" from Working Girl
  • Golden Globe Awards:
    • 1989 – Best Original Song, "Let the River Run" from Working Girl (1988)
  • Other awards:
    • 1994 – inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame
    • 1995 – inducted Boston Music Awards Lifetime Achievement
    • 1998 – inducted Boston Music Awards Honorary Doctor of Music Degree
    • 2012 – awarded the ASCAP Founders Award

Grammy Award nominations

Year Category Work Result 1972 Best Pop Female Vocalist "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" Nomination 1972 Best New Artist Carly Simon Won 1973 Best Pop Female Vocalist "Anticipation" Nomination 1974 Best Pop Female Vocalist "You're So Vain" Nomination 1974 Record of the Year "You're So Vain" Nomination 1978 Best Pop Female Vocalist "Nobody Does It Better" Nomination 1978 Song of the Year "Nobody Does It Better" Nomination* 1979 Best Pop Female Vocalist "You Belong to Me" Nomination 1979 Best Album Package Boys in the Trees Won* 1980 Best Rock Female Vocalist "Vengeance" Nomination 1988 Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female Coming Around Again Nomination 1990 Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or TV "Let the River Run" Won 1998 Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance Film Noir Nomination 2004 Grammy Hall of Fame "You're So Vain" Inducted 2006 Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Moonlight Serenade Nomination
  • The nomination for Nobody Does It Better as Song of the Year was for composers Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager.
  • Boys In The Trees Grammy win for Best Album Package went to Johnny Lee and Tony Lane. The photo featured on the front cover of the album was expertly airbrushed to paint a Danskin top on what was a topless photo of Carly.


Studio albums

  • Carly Simon , 1971
  • Anticipation, 1971
  • No Secrets , 1972
  • Hotcakes, 1974
  • Playing Possum , 1975
  • Another Passenger , 1976
  • Boys in the Trees , 1978
  • Spy , 1979
  • Come Upstairs , 1980
  • Torch , 1981
  • Hello Big Man , 1983
  • Spoiled Girl , 1985
  • Coming Around Again, 1987
  • My Romance , 1990
  • Have You Seen Me Lately , 1990
  • This Is My Life, 1992
  • Romulus Hunt: A Family Opera, 1993
  • Letters Never Sent , 1994
  • Film Noir, 1997
  • The Bedroom Tapes , 2000
  • Moonlight Serenade, 2005
  • Into White , 2007
  • This Kind of Love, 2008
  • Never Been Gone, 2009


  • The Best of Carly Simon , 1975 – U.S. #17 (singles compilation)
  • Greatest Hits Live , 1988 – U.S. #87; U.K. #49 (singles compilation)
  • Clouds in My Coffee , 1995 (three-disc retrospective box set)
  • The Very Best Of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better, 1999 (singles compilation)
  • Christmas Is Almost Here , 2002 (Christmas compilation)
  • Anthology , 2002 (singles compilation)
  • Christmas Is Almost Here Again , 2003 (Christmas compilation)
  • Reflections: Carly Simon's Greatest Hits, 2004 (singles compilation)
  • Carly Simon Collector's Edition, 2009 (tin box)


  • Live from Martha's Vineyard , 1987
  • Carly in Concert – My Romance , 1990
  • Live at Grand Central , 1995
  • A Moonlight Serenade on the Queen Mary 2, 2005
  • Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars documentary, songs by Carly Simon 2006 [1]


  • Amy the Dancing Bear, 1989
  • The Boy of the Bells, 1990
  • The Fisherman's Song, 1991
  • The Nighttime Chauffeur, 1993
  • Midnight Farm, 1997


  1. ^ Staff writer (February 16, 1994). "Andrea Heinemann Simon; Community Leader, 84". The New York Times . Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  2. ^ Kors, Michael (July 2004). "Carly Simon: romance, pain, anticipation—if it's a human impulse, then Carly Simon has sung about it.". Interview . Kors, Michael (July 2004). "Carly in INTERVIEW 2004". Interview (Carly Simon Online). Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Interview with Carly Simon". The Bill Miller Show. January 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Heroines in the Footlights, From All Sides Now". The New York Times . April 17, 2008. Accessed May 3, 2008. (registration required)
  5. ^ Weller, Sheila (April 2009). Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon—and the Journey of a Generation. Washington Square Press. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-0-7434-9148-8.
  6. ^ "Lyrics from the songs which were written for Cat Stevens by Carly Simon- with photo". Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  7. ^ Simon, Carly; Billboard Magazine (July 2008). "Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs". Carly Simon Official Website. Billboard . Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  8. ^ "Billboard Singles Chart, Carly Simon". Allmusic . Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  9. ^ "Playing Possum Overview". Allmusic . Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  10. ^ "Carly Simon Billboard Singles". Allmusic . Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  11. ^ Simon, Carly (April 9, 2002). "Ask Carly". Carly Simon official website. Archived from the original on June 12, 2004. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  12. ^ Kreps, Daniel. "Carly Simon Signs with Starbucks' Hear Music". Rolling Stone . Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  13. ^ Simon, Carly (September 14, 2009). "Carly Simon Sues Starbucks over Album Deal". Billboard . Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  14. ^ "Carly Simon News - Yahoo! Music". Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  15. ^ "Macy's Day Parade 2009". TV Guide. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  16. ^
  17. ^ White, Timothy. James Taylor: Long Ago and Far Away. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-9193-6.
  18. ^ Halperin, Ian (January 1, 2003). Fire and Rain: The James Taylor Story (revised updated edition ed.). Citadel Press. p. 140. ISBN 0-8065-2348-4.
  19. ^ by Editors (June 28, 2004). "Celebrity News — Carly Simon". Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  20. ^ Taylor, Sally (October 4, 2007). "Baby Bodhi Taylor Bragonier Is Born". Official Website. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
  21. ^ Staff writer (June 25, 2005). "William Donaldson — Womanising Satirist and Novelist Who Squandered Several Fortunes on Wild Living". The Times . Accessed November 13, 2010.
  22. ^ Hawtree, Christopher (June 25, 2005). "Donaldson's Praise of Simon". The Guardian . Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  23. ^ "Carly Simon at". Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  24. ^ "Carly Simon: Boho Queen". London: The Independent . October 9, 2005.
  25. ^ Staff writer (May 5, 1998). "Carly Simon Fighting Breast Cancer". CNN . Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  26. ^ Shapiro, Gregg (2011-09-08). "The Bay Area Reporter Online | (Carly) Simon says". Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  27. ^ "Going Live with Liv | Music". Christianity Today. 2006-02-13. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  28. ^ Veneziani, Vince (June 11, 2010). "Carly Simon Says She's Lost Millions of Dollars to Kenneth Starr and Might Have To Live in a Trailer". Business Insider. Accessed November 13, 2010.
  29. ^ Abelson, Max (June 10, 2010). "More on Carly Simon's Ken Starr Problems: Money, Dads, and Gatsby". The New York Observer . Accessed November 13, 2010.
  30. ^ Sue Zeidler (April 18, 2012). "On stammering, stage fright and the love of music". Ottawa Citizen . Retrieved April 19, 2012.

External links

  • Official website
  • Carly Simon discography at Discogs
  • Carly Simon at the Internet Movie Database
  • Carly Simon at the Notable Names Database
  • Carly Simon at the Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • Carly Simon at Rollingstone
  • [Autobiography |]

Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song (1980s)

  • "Fame" Lyrics by Dean Pitchford, Music by Michael Gore (1980)
  • "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" Music Lyrics by Peter Allen, Burt Bacharach, Christopher Cross, Carole Bayer Sager (1981)
  • "Up Where We Belong" Lyrics by Wilbur Jennings, Music by Jack Nitzsche Buffy Sainte-Marie (1982)
  • "Flashdance... What a Feeling" Lyrics by Irene Cara, Keith Forsey, Music by Giorgio Moroder (1983)
  • "I Just Called to Say I Love You" Music Lyrics by Stevie Wonder (1984)
  • "Say You, Say Me" Music Lyrics by Lionel Richie (1985)
  • "Take My Breath Away" Lyrics by Tom Whitlock, Music by Giorgio Moroder (1986)
  • "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" Lyrics by Franke Previte, Music by John DeNicola Donald Markowitz (1987)
  • "Let the River Run" Music Lyrics by Carly Simon/"Two Hearts" Lyrics by Phil Collins, Music by Lamont Dozier (1988)
  • "Under the Sea" Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Music by Alan Menken (1989)
  • Complete List
  • (1960s)
  • (1970s)
  • (1980s)
  • (1990s)
  • (2000s)
  • (2010s)

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