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Karen Carpenter

Updated on November 18, 2014

The most beautiful and soothing voice I've ever heard!

Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 - February 4, 1983) was a highly successful American singer and drummer. She and her brother, Richard, formed the popular 1970s duo, The Carpenters. In recent years, artists such as Madonna, Shania Twain, and k. d. lang, among others, have cited her as a musical influence.  If I Were A Carpenter is a tribute album to the Carpenters featuring several alternative rock bands covering the tunes performed by Richard and Karen Carpenter. (One of the most acclaimed songs on this album is Sonic Youth's cover of "Superstar.") Karen was an accomplished drummer, placing first in Playboy's reader poll for Best Rock Drummer of 1975, thus pioneering the way for a plethora of female drummers to follow. She suffered from anorexia, a little known disease at the time, and eventually died from complications related to "recovering" from the illness at the age of 32, in 1983. read the rest of the Wikipedia article

Carpenter lived with her parents until she was in her mid-20s. After the Carpenters became successful in the early 1970s, she and her brother bought two apartment buildings in Downey. Called "Close To You" and "Only Just Begun," the "Close To You" apartment can still be found at 8356 East 5th, Downey, CA.

In 1976, Carpenter bought two Century City apartments, gutted them, and turned them into one condominium. Located at 2222 Avenue of the Stars, the doorbell chimed the first six notes of "We've Only Just Begun". As a housewarming gift, her mother gave her a collection of leather-bound classic works of literature. Carpenter collected Disney memorabilia, loved to play softball and baseball, and listed Petula Clark, Olivia Newton-John, and Dionne Warwick among her friends.

Carpenter's busy schedule reduced her involvement in serious long-term relationship. She dated Mike Curb, Tony Danza, Steve Martin, and Alan Osmond. Carpenter went out with songwriter Tom Bahler, and broke up with him after she found out he had fathered a child with a married woman; this breakup inspired Bahler to write the Michael Jackson song She's Out of My Life.

After a whirlwind romance, Carpenter married real estate developer Thomas James Burris on August 31, 1980. When they met, Burris was 39 years old and divorced, and Carpenter was 30. The couple were married at the Beverly Hills Hotel in the Crystal Room. A new song performed by Carpenter at the ceremony, "Because We Are In Love," was released in 1981. The couple went to Bora Bora for their honeymoon. Carpenter called her family from the island and described it as "Boring Boring." read the rest of the Wikipedia article

Carpenters Christmas Collection

Product Description:

How about snowy days and Mondays? The soft, soothing sounds of Karen and Richard Carpenter are perfectly suited to a white Christmas with a crackling fire; here are their Christmas Portrait ('78) and An Old Fashioned Christmas ('84) LPs, together in one 2-CD set: It Came upon a Midnight Clear; O Holy Night; Christmas Waltz; Sleigh Ride; Silent Night; Jingle Bells; Ave Maria; Carol of the Bells; My Favorite Things; Do You Hear What I Hear; Santa Claus Is Coming to Town , and more!





Richard Nixon (edited out of the photo) meeting with Karen and Richard Carpenter on August 1, 1972.

Quick, what do you think of Karen Carpenter?

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When Karen Carpenter began performing on television, I was really young and liked her immediately. I believe Karen's voice was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard, and her personality was sweet, fun and bubbly. I loved watching Karen and her brother, Richard, on television; and I tried my best to sing along to all of their songs. I think I would walk across hot coals to have a voice like Karen's! I hope you enjoy this lens about Karen Carpenter and stop by often to watch videos and see my latest updates.

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    • profile image

      Lacey 2 years ago

      There's a terrific amount of kndlewoge in this article!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I still like listening to Karen Carpenter's music. I sure miss her!

    • profile image

      NaturalLifeCoach 5 years ago

      She had the clearest, crispest voice ever. 'Tis a shame - her anorexia!

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 5 years ago

      Great lens. Karen had one of the most beautiful voices ever, and left us way too soon. Thanks for a few great memories.

    • profile image

      mizrae 5 years ago

      The minute I started reading your lens, I had "Top of the World" running through my head. One of my favorites.

    • justDawn1 profile image

      justDawn1 5 years ago

      Loved her songs! So talented! Taken way too soon! :(

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You know how we all have a love that is someone we don't know, like a movie star or singer?

      Will I was in love with Karen Carpenter, and I cried when she died.

      Great lens thank you for putting it together. blessed

    • AnzE02 profile image

      AnzE02 5 years ago

      honestly I don't know her, but after I read you lens it seems I know her way back then.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

      I grew up listening to Karen and The Carpenter's sing on LPs we owned and watching them on television specials. Even at a young age I knew she had a voice like butter. It enveloped you like a velvet ribbon and I've never quite heard anything like it since. The best singers have their very own special uniqueness but only a handful will ever stand out so definitively like she did.

    • Churchmouse LM profile image

      Churchmouse LM 6 years ago

      No, but I wish I had met her. She was top of the pops at a time when I was falling in love with my soon-to-be husband and listening to them now brings it all back. A gorgeous, velvet-like voice. Thanks for assembling all this for us to enjoy.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Karen Carpenter was a part of my early adulthood ... and I now have her songs captured on my musical wall clock ... so I get to listen to her, sort of, hourly!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 6 years ago from England

      I grew up hearing Karen Carpenter. I enjoy her music but I'm not a fan. Very sad that she died so young though.

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 6 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Karen Carpenter had one of the purest pop voices. Wonderful tribute :)

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      agreed, she has a beautiful voice.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      My God this girl was wonderfully talented...so sad it ended when she was so young. I loved to listen to her, she had a voice that just charmed you and made you feel like the world was going to be okay. Thanks for such a great lens on a great person.

    • vauldine profile image

      vauldine 6 years ago

      Ihav enever met in in person, but I met her sweet spirit in her entertainment and do love it.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      I've never heard of Karen Carpenter until now. Nice voice, horrible way to live (as an anorexic).

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 6 years ago

      Nice lens! Karen certainly had a wonderful voice.

    • profile image

      Webizen 6 years ago

      Great lens, I love her too.

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 6 years ago from Corona, CA

      I remember her and the Carpenters fondly. I remember I used to think it was so weird that she was a drummer. Enjoyed the lens.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 6 years ago

      Very true. She got a voice of an angel. I love her music, I love her voice, I love everything about her.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      Oh thank god, I had a moment to check out this excellent lens of yours. I speak about Karen Carpenter in my 'Getting IT together...Finding Happiness' lens. I am going to feature your lens within it right now and will leave you a message on your Bio page. Sure hope it all meets with your approval and helps bring you some traffic. Fondly, Rose

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've never met Karen Carpenter, nor seen her perform live, but I remember listening to her beautiful music in the late 70s and 80s when I was down in Goa, India...soothing music indeed...beautiful page!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      She was lovely and I enjoyed her music so much.

      I am your fan also.

    • encouragingwords profile image

      encouragingwords 6 years ago

      I still hum "Hey Mr. Postman"!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      I wish I had met Karen Carpenter. I loved, and still love, the Carpenters and their music. It was so tragic when we lost her at such an early age. Her talent was extraordinary. Thanks for this tribute lens.

    • momscorner profile image

      momscorner 6 years ago

      Hi Vicki, thanks for lensrolling my music lens.

    • momscorner profile image

      momscorner 6 years ago

      I love the Carpenters' songs. My favorite is A Song For You.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Karen's voice is the most beautiful voice I ever heard....No ONE has yet matched her talent and beautiful words till this day....I would of love to hear her sing today, in our generation of talentless 2011's.

    • profile image

      jgelien 7 years ago

      Such a sad story. She had an amazing talent and died way too young. Another reminder of how deadly the effects of eating disorders can be. Thank you for the lens.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 8 years ago

      My mom was an extra in the Karen Carpenter story a while ago! Cool lens!! 5*s

      FREE Samples and Freebies

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to gutu toma constantin]

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i really fall in love with the voice of karen.i love the carpenters song a lot.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i really fall in love with the voice of karen.i love the carpenters song a lot.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      it was April of 1974. I was 15 and was in the eighth row of the Capitol Music Hall, in Wheeling West Virginia. This was my first, and now, most memorable concert. As long as I can remember, The Carpenters had been an influential part of my music world. Karen's voice was so unique and simply beautiful that even at 15 I knew what class was. So, sitting in the eighth row, the two hours went by as quickly as two minutes. How I wanted to stay for the second show-to hide in a hallway, or simply stand in the back....but I'll always have that memory,

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      i think in fact i am sure that karen was a wonderful woman with a great voice.she and her brother have made special music and very nice songs ,which are many. they have made an extrordinary work which will remain an important event in the history of the music.i miss karen like many others. i wish to richard my best wishes and his own.good luck in the next time.i love both of you for that you have done for us and international music. sincerely tomi and the family

    • profile image

      BeautySecrets 9 years ago

      Seeing your lens about Karen Carpenter brings back a lot of great memories for me Vicki. I really enjoyed the videos. Thanks for doing such a great job.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      hello fellows and visitors!this is karmela,a karen freak,really.i love her voice her face and everything she had except her disease.you know,it made me cry when i have watched her story at youtube,swear.i realized that inside this girl is a pain breaking her heart,though she may look happy and energetic outside.i would love to see her in person if she were still here on earth.but so sad,she left this awesome world full of her fans too early.i wish i could see her in Heaven when the right time come.karen,most of the people here on earth misses you so much.i love her songs more than the songs today.urgg,don't bug me..i really love the song od 70's.i wish i lived early at this world so that i could have seen her before she died.oh,every time i watch her videos,i can't help myself not to cry.really.we love you karen,we really do.we miss u so much.even though you left this world too early,tnx,your songs are still loved.we really love you.i enjoyed my stay here.thanks for creating this site ♥

    • TriviaChamp profile image

      TriviaChamp 9 years ago

      Too bad she died before her time. Enjoyed my stay.

      ~Jane