James Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, born in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where his father Isaac Taylor was the dean of the University of North Carolina Medical School. His family summered on Martha’s Vineyard.
Taylor’s career began in the mid-1960s, but he found his audience in the early 1970s, singing sensitive and gentle acoustic songs. He was part of a wave of soft singer-songwriters of the time that also included Carole King, Joni Mitchell, John Denver, Jackson Browne and Carly Simon (whom he later married).
His Greatest Hits album from 1976 was certified diamond and has sold more than 11 million copies.
Taylor’s four siblings, Alex Taylor, Livingston Taylor, Hugh Taylor, and Kate Taylor have also been musicians with recorded albums. (Livingston is still an active musician; Kate was active in the 1970s and did not record another album until 2003; Hugh opened a bed-and-breakfast with his wife; Alex died in 1993.) Taylor’s children with Carly Simon, Ben Taylor and Sally Taylor, have also embarked on musical careers.
In March 2010 he commenced the Troubadour Reunion Tour with Carole King and members of his original band, including Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar, and Danny Kortchmar. They played shows in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and North America, including the final event at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena. The tour was a major commercial success, and in some locations found Taylor playing arenas instead of his usual theaters or amphitheaters. With an average capacity of 95% for the shows, the tour raised millions for various charities of Taylor and King’s choice.