Best Known For
American singer-songwriter Paul Simon is an influential figure in American rock music. He is known for his work as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, and for his long-running success as a musician.
Watch a short video about Simon and Garfunkel to find out what famous artist's studio band was used to reunite the artists and catapult them into stardom.
Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, responsible for hits such as "Both Sides Now" and "Big Yellow Taxi," is widely considered 1960s and '70s folk royalty.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
In 1970, Simon and Garfunkel split up due to artistic differences, freeing Simon to record a self-titled solo album in 1972. With songs like "Mother and Child Reunion" and "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,
" Paul Simon took a distinct stylistic turn away from Simon and Garfunkel's collaborative work and earned rave reviews from critics.
Simon continued to release critical and commercial successes through the mid-1970s but slowed down considerably during the second half of the decade. In 1982, Simon and Garfunkel reunited for a world tour, but their subsequent attempt to record another studio album together ended in disagreement and led to many years of estrangement.
During the 1980s, Simon became fascinated by African and Brazilian music. His interests took him to South Africa in 1985, where he began recording his crowning achievement, Graceland. Combining elements of rock, zydeco, Tex-Mex, Zulu choral singing and mbaqanga, or "township jive," the album captured a sound that wasn't quite like anything anyone had heard before. A groundbreaking and risky departure from Simon's earlier projects, Graceland proved to be one of the unlikeliest hits of the 1980s, helping put South African music on the world stage and restoring Paul Simon to superstardom.
Further exploring the idea that "we are all connected on this very basic emotional level by music -- by rhythm and harmony," Paul Simon followed up Graceland with 1990's The Rhythm of the Saints. This album, which included West African guitar, American blues and Cameroonian vocalists, was another critical success -- though not quite as popular as its predecessor.
Although Paul Simon's unique, carefully constructed contributions to American music could be called innovative, he insists that the process has a lot to do with discovery. "I'm more interested in what I discover than what I invent. You don't possess it. You can't control it or dictate to it. You're just waiting. Waiting... for the show to begin."
Simon married his third and current wife, singer Edie Brickell, in 1992. They have three children. (Earlier marriages to Peggy Harper and Carrie Fisher both ended in divorce.) To date, Simon has won thirteen Grammy Awards, including one Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and in 2007, became the first ever recipient of the Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Paul Simon profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Legendary folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel—comprised of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel—performed songs that spoke to the generation of the 1960s and '70s, including "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Sound of Silence" and The Graduate soundtrack hits "Scarborough Fair" and "Mrs. Robinson." Today, the duo is credited as one of the most popular and influential acts of the era.
Simon and Garfunkel 2 people in this group
With simply their voices and guitars, folk singers are the unplugged artists who tell our collective stories through their songs. Their music conveys universal truths and, in turbulent times, is often a call to action in the form of protest songs. Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and other legendary folk singers have rallied audiences around historic causes such as the Civil Rights, peace and feminist movements. Here are some of the famous folk singers who were revolutionary through their songs.
Folk Singers and Folk Revolutionaries 30 people in this group
Famous Libras 571 people in this group