In addition to being a singer, composer, and guitarist, James Taylor is also a multimillionaire. With more than 100 million recordings sold worldwide, he ranks as one of the best-selling performers of all time and a five-time Grammy Award winner.
James Taylor Early Life
On March 12th, 1948, Taylor was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Father Isaac M. Taylor was a physician and mother Gertrude Taylor was an operatic hopeful. After Alex, Kate and Livingston were born, James was the second of five children. Taylors relocated to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1951 and built a house in the Morgan Creek region, which was sparsely populated. The idyllic setting of James’ childhood home has served as a major source of creative inspiration for him throughout his life.
Cello was Taylor’s first love as a child until he discovered guitar in 1960. From his piano and cello playing, he created a unique method. It was while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard with his family that James met the musician Danny Kortchmar, who told him that he “knew James had that thing.” It was in the summer of 1963 when Taylor and Kortchmar were playing coffeehouses throughout Martha’s Vineyard, where Taylor had written his first song at the age of 14.
It wasn’t until 1963, during his junior year of high school, that James began to feel the strain of the high school environment. Taylor became very depressed in his final year, sleeping 20 hours a day and seeing his grades fall as a result. James checked himself into a Massachusetts psychiatric institution in 1965. Chlorpromazine, a bipolar illness medication, was administered to him. Taylor handled the situation well, establishing a framework and a feeling of time. James experienced a psychological setback when he was selected to serve in the Vietnam War. In the hospital’s linked school, he received his high school diploma and later declared that his nine-month stay was “a game-changer. Like a respite or pardon.” According to Taylor, “an integral element of my personality” are his battles with mental illness.
James Taylor Career
To make a name for himself in the burgeoning Greenwich Village music scene, James founded the band “Flying Machine” and began playing frequently in the city in 1966. As early as 1966, Taylor was using heroin on a regular basis and had developed a complete dependence on it. James returned to North Carolina, where he underwent six months of treatment, following the breakup of his band.
For the first time, Taylor met the Beatles’ newly created record label “Apple Records” director of A&R in London in 1967. Before signing a record deal with Apple Records, James had made a demo-tape that impressed Asher. After recording the album, Taylor returned to the United States and entered a psychiatric facility in Massachusetts because he had relapsed into heroin use. James Taylor’s album “James Taylor” was released in February 1969, however it failed to sell well since James was unable to promote the record because he was in the hospital.
Writing songs throughout his recuperation, Taylor relocated to California after signing an agreement with Warner Bros. Records in October 1969. It was in February 1970 that “Sweet Baby James” was released, James’ second album. With both the album and its song, “Fire & Rain,” reaching No. 3 on the Billboard charts, the album was immediately a success. More than a million copies of “Sweet Baby James” have been sold, and it has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
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Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, Taylor’s third studio album, was critically acclaimed when it was released in April 1971. It was the album’s cover of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” that debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and was awarded the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance. Despite entering the Top 10 on the Billboard charts, James released his fourth album, “One Man Dog,” in November 1972, to lacklustre reviews.
It wasn’t until January 1974, when he recorded “Walking Man,” that Taylor returned to the studio for the first time in more than a year. In the United States, the album was a flop, earning negative reviews and selling just 300,000 copies. When James resurfaced in 1975 with the gold-certified album “Gorilla,” he covered Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” and had one of his biggest hits. Taylor’s next Gold album, “In the Pocket,” came out in 1976. Warner published “Greatest Hits,” Taylor’s best-selling album ever, after James’ contract with the record company expired. It was certified 11x Platinum in the United States.
The “JT,” “Flag,” and “Dad Loves His Work” albums James recorded for Columbia between 1977 and 1981 are all included in this list. Taylor found inspiration at a concert he gave in Rio de Janeiro, which led to the release of two albums before the end of the 1980s, after suffering from addiction and depression. “New Moon Shine” was James’ 13th studio album, while Taylor released “Hourglass,” an introspective album about his troubled history and family, following a six-year break from recording. For Best Pop Record, the album was honoured with a Grammy.
He has recorded six more studio albums since the 1990s, won several plaudits, and performed at various major public events, including both of former US President Barrack Obama’s inaugural ceremonies. As one of the greatest musicians of all time, Taylor remains a household name.
James Taylor Personal Life
Carly Simon, a singer, was married to James Taylor for ten years, starting in 1972 and ending in 1983. Sarah Taylor and Ben Simon Taylor, their two children, are both musicians and political activists. In spite of the fact that they have two children together, Simon and Taylor have apparently not seen or spoken to one another since their divorce in 1983.
James married actress Kathryn Walker in 1985, and the union lasted until James’ divorce in 1996. Taylor married Caroline Smedvig, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s public relations director, on February 18, 2001. When Caroline gave birth to Henry and Rufus, she and her family moved to Lenox, Massachusetts.
James Taylor Relationships
James married American singer Carly Simon in November 1972. Sally and Ben, their two children, are both professional musicians. In 1983, Taylor and Carly got divorced.
James Taylor Real Estate
— James Taylor (@JamesTaylor_com) August 2, 2022
James purchased a 145-acre mansion on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, in the 1970s for an undisclosed sum. The property is now worth between $10 million and $20 million dollars. Carly Simon bought a house on Martha’s Vineyard after her divorce and has lived there ever since. The distance between their homes is just 25 minutes, but they haven’t seen or spoken to each other since the 1980s, according to reports