Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Beloved music icon Carly Simon made a huge milestone lately – it was her 80th birthday.

Born June 25, 1943, to civil rights activist Andrea Heinemann Simon and Simon & Schuster co-founder Richard L. Simon, Carly has achieved significant success ever since her early days singing alongside her late sister Lucy Simon.

Her career includes two Grammy wins, chart-topping success, and of course, her notorious track You’re So Vain.

As Carly celebrated another trip around the sun, we took a look back at her life – from her early years performing alongside her sister to who exactly inspired You’re So Vain. 

Happy birthday! Beloved music icon Carly Simon will be marking a huge milestone this weekend - her 80th birthday

EARLY START 

The future music icon got her start performing with Lucy as The Simon Sisters, a folk duo who released several albums before Simon forged her own wildly successful career. 

Sister act! The future music icon got her start performing with Lucy as The Simon Sisters, a folk duo who released several albums before Simon forged her own wildly successful career

FORGING HER WAY 

As a solo artist, her first few albums immediately landed on the charts, received critical acclaim, and she earned the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1972.

But it was her legendary 1971 anthem, You’re So Vain, which would cement her into music history.

Making her own name: As a solo artist, her first few albums immediately landed on the charts, received critical acclaim, and she earned the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1972

Making her name: As a solo artist, her first few albums immediately landed on the charts, received critical acclaim, and she earned the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1972

Early rise: Simon pictured in 1971 

Solo success: The songstress pictured in London in 1971 

YOU’RE SO VAIN SUCCESS AND THE MAN WHO INSPIRED IT

The track about a conceited man topped the charts and sparked the public’s interest, curious to know who Carly was singing about. The song was written about three men, and their identities were shrouded in secrecy for decades until Carly finally confirmed her ex Warren Beatty was one of the individuals who inspired the track.

‘I have confirmed that the second verse is Warren,’ she told People magazine in 2015.

When asked if Warren was aware the verse was about him, she replied: ‘Warren thinks the whole thing is about him!’ 

Simon doesn’t think she will ever reveal who the other two verses refer to, or at least until they know it’s about them.’

CAREER SUCCESS 

You’re So Vain was nominated for multiple Grammys in 1974, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. 

While the song failed to receive a single Grammy that year, it remains popular amongst fans.

The celebrated superstar has garnered 15 Grammy nominations in her career and won two of them – Best New Artist of the Year and Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or Television for Let the River Run in 1990.

MARRIAGES AND FAMILY LIFE 

As far as her personal life, Carly has been married twice and linked to numerous high-profile men including Jack Nicholson and Cat Stevens. 

She was married to fellow folk singer James Taylor, and they had children and future musicians Sally and Ben Taylor together. Several years after her divorce from James, she wed James Hart.

Their marriage lasted 20 years, and Hart reflected on their union in his 2017 memoir Lucky Jim.

TRAGEDY

In October 2022, Simon lost both of her sisters, Lucy and Joanna, to cancer.

The siblings died within a day of each other, the New York Times reported.

Like Simon, her sisters were also both musically talented.

Lucy was a well-known Broadway composer, while Joanna was a celebrated opera singer turned reporter for PBS.

FAMOUS FRIENDS  

Simon is friends with the Clintons and the late Jackie Kennedy.

Simon befriended Jackie after performing at Caroline Kennedy’s wedding in 1986, at Jackie’s request.

‘Carly and Jackie loved to laugh and gossip with each other, and like schoolgirls, they loved to talk about boys. They both especially adored one boy – Mike Nichols, the film and theatre director, producer, actor, and husband of Diane Sawyer,’ Carly’s ex-husband James recalled in his memoir.

Famous pals! Simon befriended Jackie Kennedy after performing at Caroline Kennedy’s wedding in 1986

Friends in high places! Simon is friends with Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary 

Doing her thing! On her social media accounts, she loves interacting with fans 

STILL AN ICON 

Carly hasn’t let time slow her down. 

On her social media accounts, she loves interacting with fans and earlier this year released her second live album, Live at Grand Central.

Last year, she was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  

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