Karen Carpenter was a talented singer and drummer known for her 3-octave contralto vocal range. Her natural beauty and beautiful voice mesmerized millions of people around the globe. She had a magical voice with an angelic intonation. Karen started her singing career at the age of 13 by performing with her brother Richard.
Karen Carpenter’s music career
The duo Carpenters released their first album ‘Offering’ in 1969, however, it failed to catch the public’s attention. After a year, they released another album ‘Close To You’, which was a blockbuster. The two tracks ‘Close to you’ and “We’ve only just begun’ peaked at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively on the U.S. pop chart. That pattern continued on their third album, Carpenters (1971), with three singles reaching the top 3 on the pop chart. Throughout the 1970s single after singles reached top of the charts. Soon Richard and Karen became one of the most successful groups, with Karen on the drums and lead vocals and Richard on the piano with backup vocals. The Carpenters won three Grammy Awards, embarked on a world tour, and landed their own TV variety series in 1971, titled ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’ ion 1971. Karen and Richard also made 17 top 20 hits, ten gold singles, nine gold albums, one multi-platinum album. Kare also made a solo album titled “Karen Carpenter” in 1980. The album was released after her death, in 1996.
In 1980, Karen Carpenter married real estate developer Thomas J. Burris, however, the marriage lasted only a year before they separated.
Karen Carpenter’s death
Karen had a fixation with her weight from her earliest days performing with Richard. As a teenager, she dropped at least 25 pounds on a popular and severe weight-loss program known as “the Water Diet”. In her 20s she was skinny and healthy and she maintained weight of 120 lbs. Her insecurities about appearance grew with the time when she was becoming the biggest pop star of her era. By the mid-1975 Karen was forced to cancel her tours of Japan and Europe after she collapsed on the stage in Las Vegas. Her weight had plummeted to only 90 lbs., and for the next seven years she suffered from severe weight loss.
Karen’s condition was getting worse because she began avoiding food whenever possible and even, she had been using ipecac syrup to induce vomiting. Karen was suffering from eating disorder called anorexia nervosa, she never gained control of her eating disorder and suffered from it for the rest of her life. The condition was virtually unknown to the public at this time. Although Karen was happy with her slim figure and she wore low-cut silky gowns that clung to her frail-looking body.
On February 4, 1983, Karen Carpenter suffered a deadly heart attack and collapsed at her family’s home in California. Her long battle with anorexia nervosa had stressed her heart to the breaking point. Karen Carpenter was only 32 when she died.
Here below are some glamorous photos of Karen Carpenter from her life.