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Karen Carpenter - The Carpenters Vocalist


Karen Carpenter - Singer

The music Karen Carpenter made will forever be a cornerstone of great American pop music.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, on March 2, 1950, Karen became a global superstar as lead singer and drummer of The Carpenters alongside her multi-instrumentalist brother Richard.


With The Carpenters, Karen created a rich body of work known for its strong melodies and pop sensibilities.
Although initially less interested in music than band-mate and brother Richard, Karen was encouraged to take singing lessons by her sibling while at high school.


Under Richard’s tutorage her confidence grew and she soon developed a singing style known for its clarity and beautiful tone.


Although she deemed herself a drummer, her trademark vocal stylings quickly defined The Carpenters’ sound.


 

From the 1969 debut Ticket to Ride until the final Carpenters album, the posthumously released, Voice Of The Heart, Karen captivated listeners and sold thousands of records, becoming one of the stars of the 70’s.
Responsible for a slew of hits and albums, she may, however, be forever synonymous with the Carpenters’ tracks We’ve Only Just Begun and the Burt Bacharach penned (They Long To Be) Close To You.
Unfortunately success was to be short lived for Karen.


Even with critically acclaimed albums and sales figures to match, Karen was deeply troubled.
She suffered terribly with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa – a disease she had battled for most of her adult life.
On February 4, 1983, Karen finally succumbed to the disease and suffered a fatal heart attack – she was only 32.
With her passing, the world lost one of its great talents.


In the wake of her passing, anorexia was thrown into the spotlight -encouraging countless others to seek help and delivering a greater understanding of what was an often unspoken issue.
Although her life was short, the music she made with Richard as The Carpenters will forever stand as a testament to her talent.
Her legend has gone on to inspire the film The Karen Carpenter Story and countless tribute bands who play everywhere from the Edinburgh Festival to China.

 

 

By Chris Taylor

 

 
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