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Carly Simon
Photo: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Carly Simon

Biography
(1945–)
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Grammy winner Carly Simon was one of the biggest singer/songwriters in the 1970s. She was famously married to fellow rocker James Taylor and wrote the 1972 hit single 'You're So Vain.'

Who Is Carly Simon?

Singer-songwriter Carly Simon was born on June 25, 1945, in New York City. She won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1971. In 1972, she had her first hit single, "You're So Vain." That same year she married musician James Taylor. They had two children, but divorced in 1983. She was the first artist to have won three major awards — Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe — for a single track, hers being in 1988 for the song "Let the River Run." In 2008, she released the album This Kind of Love.

1970s Rock Star Status

Simon was one of the most popular singer-songwriters of the 1970s. She won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1971. Simon had her first hit single in 1973 with "You're So Vain," a song that has stirred up years of debate on whom she was singing about. After decades of mystery, Simon admitted in 2015 that the second verse of the song was about actor Warren Beatty but that two other unnamed men inspired the rest of the song. (People have speculated that the mystery men could be James Taylor, Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens or Kris Kristofferson—all of whom she had been involved with previously.)

In 1973 Simon released another hit single, "The Right Thing to Do" and the following year found instant success with the album Hotcakes. She released The Best of Carly Simon greatest hits album in 1975, which turned triple platinum in the U.S.

After experiencing a slump for a couple years, Simon soared back with her James Bond-themed song "Nobody Does It Better," which became an international hit and garnered her Grammy nominations. She released Boys in the Trees (1978) and secured her platinum record-making status once again.

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Simon's career took a bit of a downturn for most of the '80s, but towards the latter half of the decade, she rebounded with the album Coming Around Again (1987), with its title track featured in the film Heartburn and garnering a Grammy nomination. During this time, Simon contributed to many films and television scores.

Other Endeavors

Simon's experience as a mother inspired her to record a children's album that won a Best Recording for Children Grammy in 1980. Her biggest musical success during the 1980s came with "Let the River Run," a song written for the movie Working Girl (1988). For the composition, she won her third Grammy, her first Oscar, and a Golden Globe — making her the first artist to have won all three major awards for composing, writing and performing one song. 

Simon added children's book author to her long list of accomplishments in 1989 with the publication of Amy the Dancing Bear. Since then, she has published several more titles, including 1997's Midnight Farm. She is also a partner in a store of the same name in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Continuing to record, Simon has released several albums in recent years, including 2008's This Kind of Love.

Personal Life

In 1972, Simon married fellow songsmith James Taylor. Quickly becoming the royal couple of 1970s folk rock, she and Taylor had two children: Sally in 1974 and Ben in 1977. In 1983, she divorced Taylor. In the late 1990s she successfully fought a publicized battle with breast cancer.

In 1986 she married James Hart, a poet. Simon and Hart split up in 2007.

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