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The Carpenters Biography

Home > Music > C > Carpenters, The > Biography

Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, United States
Years Active: 1969-1983
Genres: Pop, Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary

Carpenters were a vocal and instrumental duo, consisting of siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter. Carpenters were the #1 selling American music act of the 1970s and although often referred to by the public as “The Carpenters,” the duo's official name was simply “Carpenters.” During a period in the 1970s when louder and wilder rock was in great demand, Richard and Karen produced a distinctively soft musical style that made them one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

The Carpenters' melodic pop produced a record-breaking run of hit recordings on the American Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts, and they became leading sellers in the soft rock, easy listening and adult contemporary genres.

The siblings started their musical career together in the latter half of 1960s. In October 1969, a half year after they signed a contract with A&M Records, the Carpenters released their debut album “Offering” (later its title was changed to “Ticket to Ride”). Within a year, they came into prominence with the chart-topping single “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” a cover version of Bacharach/David composition.

Carpenters had two additional #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart: “Top of the World” in 1973 and “Please Mr. Postman” in 1974. They also had fifteen #1 hits on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In addition, they had twelve Top 10 singles including their #1 hits. To date, Carpenters' album and single sales total more than 100 million units.

Their recording career ended with Karen's death in 1983 from cardiac arrest due to complications of anorexia nervosa. Extensive news coverage of the circumstances surrounding her death increased public awareness of the consequences of eating disorders.