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James Taylor
Taylor in April 2011
Background information
Birth name James Vernon Taylor
Born March 12, 1948 (1948-03-12) (age 73)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Origin Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Genres Folk rock, rock, pop, soft rock, country
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Years active 1966–present
Labels Apple, Capitol, EMI, Warner Bros., Columbia, SME, Hear Music
Associated acts Carole King, Carly Simon, Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, Joni Mitchell, J.D. Souther, Stevie Wonder, Art Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, David Crosby, Don Henley

James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the No. 3 single "Fire and Rain" and had his first No. 1 hit the following year with "You've Got a Friend", a recording of Carole King's classic song. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million US copies.

He has retained a large audience over the decades. Every album that he released from 1977 to 2007 sold over 1 million copies. He achieved his first number-one album in the US in 2015 with his recording Before This World.

He is known for his popular covers of other people's songs, such as "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)", as well as originals such as "Fire and Rain".

Early years

Amy Grant, James Taylor, and Vince Gill
Taylor performing with (left) at Tanglewood in 2011

James was born at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and first learned to play the cello as a child in North Carolina then switched to the guitar in 1960. His guitar style evolved, influenced by hymns, carols and the music of Woody Guthrie. He began attending Milton Academy, a boarding school in Massachusetts in fall 1961. During that time he met Danny Kortchmar, an aspiring guitarist from Larchmont, New York. The two began listening to and playing blues and folk music together. Taylor wrote his first song on guitar at 14, and he continued to learn the instrument effortlessly. By the summer of 1963, he and Kortchmar were playing coffeehouses, billed as "Jamie & Kootch".

Studio albums

  • James Taylor (1968)
  • Sweet Baby James (1970)
  • Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon (1971)
  • One Man Dog (1972)
  • Walking Man (1974)
  • Gorilla (1975)
  • In The Pocket (1976)
  • JT (1977)
  • Flag (1979)
  • Dad Loves His Work (1981)
  • That's Why I'm Here (1985)
  • Never Die Young (1988)
  • New Moon Shine (1991)
  • Hourglass (1997)
  • October Road (2002)
  • Covers (2008)
  • Before This World (2015)

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