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Profile of the Day: Karen Carpenter

Today we remember singer Karen Carpenter, who was born on this day in 1950. Along with her older brother Richard, Carpenter was part of the famous duo the Carpenters.

Image: Karen Carpenter / Robert L. Knudsen, White House photo

Carpenter was born on March 2, 1950 in New Haven, Connecticut to Agnes Reuwer Tatum and Harold Bertram Carpenter. Her older brother, Richard, developed an interest in music at an early age and was a gifted piano player. After the family moved to Downey, California in 1963, Carpenter joined the school band and learned to play the drums.

In 1969, the Carpenters signed a recording contract with A&M Records and released their first album, Ticket to Ride. Originally, Carpenter started out as the groups drummer and singer. However, her short stature made it difficult for the audience to see her sing behind her drum set. She was eventually persuaded to stand at the microphone to sing. The Carpenters catapulted to stardom with the release of their second album, Close to You. The album included their classic songs “Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun” and earned them 2 Grammy awards. During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded 10 albums and numerous television specials.

Sadly, Carpenter died on February 4, 1983 at the age of 32 of heart failure. She had suffered from anorexia nervosa, which was not widely known at the time.

Today, Carpenter is remembered as one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. What’s your favorite song?

Karen Carpenter is not yet connected to the World Family Tree. Perhaps you can help connect her to over 150 million people on Geni!

View Karen Carpenter’s Geni Profile

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