November 01, 1999 12:00 PM

Singer-songwriter Carole King felt the earth move under her feet on Oct. 14 when New York City’s Theater at Madison Square Garden swayed, rocked and boogied to such King-size classics as “The Loco-Motion,” sung by Boyz II Men, and “Natural Woman,” with Reba McEntire doing the honors. “I was thrilled,” says McEntire. “I had Tapestry [King’s 1971 classic album], like everyone else in the world did, and it was a huge influence on me.”

Judging by the talent pool onstage, she wasn’t alone. The benefit concert, which celebrated PEOPLE’S 25th anniversary and raised nearly $1 million for charity, attracted an eclectic mix of performers that also included James Taylor, Luther Vandross, Mavis Staples, 98°, Rickie Lee Jones, Trisha Year-wood, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Chrissie Hynde, Brian McKnight and the Jazzmen. After the show, some 900 guests nibbled smoked salmon and filet of beef at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom. “There was such a warm, special feeling,” said singer Sherry Goffin-Kondor, King’s daughter with Gerry Goffin, King’s former husband and lyricist. Mom couldn’t agree more. “This,” said a moist-eyed King, 57, “is an amazing night.”

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