Birthplace: Boston, Mass.
The Bing Crosby of the 1970s, Taylor's brand of mellow introspective music delineated the shift away from the socially and politically charged music of the '60s. Dropping out of prep school at age 16, he formed his first band with brother Alex (all five Taylor siblings entered the music business). Depression and drug addiction marked the next few years of his life, a source of material for some of his songs. His breakthrough came with his 1970 album, Sweet Baby James. Subsequent albums including, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, Gorilla, In The Pocket, and three volumes of greatest hits, earned him 40 gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards. His other hit records include, Fire and Rain, You've Got a Friend, and Mockingbird, which he recorded with Carly Simon, whom he married in 1972 and divorced in 1983. Their two children are in the music business. Taylor's career hit a lull in the early 1980s but picked up with Never Die Young (1988) and New Moon Shine (1991). In 2000, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.