She won’t be vain about it, but singer-songwriter Carly Simon turned 80 on Sunday.
Simon, who has won a pair of Grammy Awards and an Academy Award during her career, was born June 25, 1943, in New York City. She was the third daughter of Richard Simon, the founder of the Simon & Schuster publishing house, according to The Washington Post.
“I think that my father was very excited by Joey Joanna, the first child and he was very charmed by Lucy, who was very demure, beguiling, a princess,” Simon said, according to the newspaper. “She was his favorite. By the time I came along, he wanted a boy. He wasn’t pleased with my sex from the beginning.”
Simon won a Grammy Award in 1971 for best new artist. She has been nominated for 15 Grammys through the years and won a second award for the lyrics and music for “Let the River Run,” from the 1988 film “Working Girl.” The tune also brought Simon an Oscar for best original song.
Here are 10 of Simon’s signature songs. During the 1970s, nobody did it better.
You’re So Vain (1972)
This is Simon’s signature song and her lone single to go to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song, from the “No Secrets” album spent 17 weeks on the charts, including three weeks at No. 1. But a secret remains — who was Simon writing about in this dismissive song? Warren Beatty? Someone else?
Simon told People in 2015 that the second verse of the song is about Beatty.
But Beatty probably thought the whole song was about him. Didn’t he?
“I have confirmed that the second verse is Warren,” Simon told the magazine. “(But) Warren thinks the whole thing is about him.”
“He certainly thought it was about him,” Simon told the Post in 1983. “He called me and said thanks for the song.”
She added that the other verses refer to two other men, but coyly did not reveal them.
Simon married James Taylor in 1972, a union that lasted 11 years. She has been linked to Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson, Jack Nicholson and Cat Stevens. Simon denied the song was about Jagger, but the others remain a mystery.
If you grew up during the mid-1970s, this song conjures memories of Heinz Ketchup’s brilliant “it’s slow good” commercials. Having “American Top 40″ radio host Casey Kasem narrate some of the ads did not hurt, either. However, the song does stand alone on its merits, spending 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaking at No. 13.
It was the title track to Simon’s highly anticipated second album of the same name.
That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard it Should Be (1971)
A quiet ballad with a haunting piano line, Simon’s first single reached No. 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts.
The song spent 17 weeks on the Hot 100 charts.
A classic duet with her husband, James Taylor, “Mockingbird” was recorded for Simon’s “Hotcakes” album. The song spent 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 5. The song was originally written in 1963 by Inez and Charlie Foxx.
Nobody Does It Better (1977)
The theme song for the 1977 James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “Nobody Does It Better” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song remained on the Billboard charts for 25 weeks — the longest of any of her songs.
“Jesse” was the first single from the “Come Upstairs” album. The song spent 23 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped out at No. 11.
You Belong to Me (1978)
Another top-10 hit, the song was co-written by Simon and Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers. Simon’s version in 1978 was released on her album, “Boys in the Trees.” It rose to No. 6 on the Billboard charts. The Doobie Brothers released their version of the song in 1977.
Haven’t Got Time for the Pain (1974)
Another piano-dominated single that also utilizes strings, the gentle “Haven’t Got Time for the Pain,” was the second single from the “Hotcakes” album.
“Suffering was the only thing made me feel I was alive,” Simon sang.
It stayed on the Hot 100 charts for 12 weeks and rose to No. 14.
Coming Around Again (1986)
The title track to Simon’s album of the same name, it was one of her best-selling singles. The song spent 17 weeks on the charts and reached No. 18.
Honorable mention goes to the 1973 song, “The Right Thing to Do,” and “Hurt,” Simon’s venture into jazz in 1981.
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