The MusicCares red carpet was so crowded at one point that Yoko Ono practically bumped into Lady Gaga on Friday (Jan. 24). Then they both turned to each other and hugged. The pair, along with some of the biggest names in music, arrived in celebratory mode to honor Carole King at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute.
Carole King Honored by Stars at MusiCares Person of the Year Gala
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Those seen on the red carpet included Steven Tyler, David Crosby, Ozzy Osbourne, Martina McBride, Gloria Estefan, Ben Folds, Hilary Duff, Amy Grant, Jesse McCartney and many others who shared their stories about King and how she’s inspired their careers.
King’s longtime friend and collaborator, James Taylor, said that the night was special to many simply because of the songs that his friend wrote that have been heard around the world and by many generations.
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“From when she was just a kid, 15 years old, to the ‘Natural Woman.’ It’s an amazing thing,” Taylor said, adding that his favorite song, naturally, is “You’ve Got a Friend,” which helped define his career as well.
Estefan was in high school when King’s iconic album “Tapestry” was released and the album had major impact on the songstress, who is attending the GRAMMY Awards this week as a nominee for “The Standards,” which is in competition for best traditional pop vocal album.
“She was the voice of a generation,” Estefan says. “I sang everyone of those songs on my guitar.”
King’s daughter, singer/songwriter Louise Goffin, was thrilled to be performing at the MusiCares event in honor of her mother.
“All these artists are so lucky to have this catalog to choose from,” Goffin said. “What better catalog would you like to choose from. It’s just historic and epic.”
For country singer Kacey Musgraves, who’ll be touring with Katy Perry this summer, King, too, has inspired her young career: “Her songs connect with so many people,” she said. “The more I’ve listened to her the more I’m discovering her music.”
Musician-actor Paul Williams, who can currently be heard on the new Daft Punk album “Random Access Memories,” said that it’s been an honor knowing and working with King through the years.
“She writes with such accuracy and you can taste the longing and you can taste the joy,” Williams said. “She’s an amazing lady. She’s as good as it gets.”
It took mere few seconds for comedian Tommy Davidson to mention his favorite King songs. Then, he began to sing her music including “I Feel the Earth Move,” which he performed in character as Sammy Davis, Jr.
“Carole King is one of those artists from early in my life when I was seven or eight years old,” said Davidson, who is currently developing a film about Davis. “Me and my sister would sit in a room and listen to Carole all day long.”
For country singer Jennifer Nettles, King is inspiring for not only her songwriting, but the longevity that not many achieve.
“My favorite song is ‘You’ve Got a Friend.’ It’s so simple, powerful,” Nettles said.
David Crosby, who is releasing a new solo album this week, said that “Carole deserves the tribute for her body of work,” adding that “Tapestry” is his favorite album.
For sibling act Jesse & Joy, being part of the King tribute meant a lot to them because of their mother’s love for the singer.
“Her music crosses boundaries,” says Joy. Jesse adds, “We brought our mother because it’s because of her that we listened to Carole King music growing up.”