The Broadway musical Beautiful, based on Carole King s life and music, was just nominated for eight Tony Awards, including a best actress nod for the show’s star, Jessie Mueller. Which isn’t surprising – like Jersey Boys, this jukebox musical features popular hit tunes from the ’60s and ’70s that were written by King, who’s either written or co-written 118 songs that have made the Billboard Hot 100 since 1960.
In fact, during the 1960s, when King was in her early 20s, she was already experiencing massive success writing hits for African-American singing sensations like the Drifters and the Shirelles. Later, in 1971, she experienced fame in a different way, when her solo album Tapestry hit the top of the charts and stayed there for 15 weeks, eventually selling more than 25 million copies worldwide.
One of the most fascinating takeaways audience members have from seeing this show is realizing just how many of their favorite tunes were penned by the prodigy. We’ve compiled a list of some of the ones we bet you probably never thought were written by a young white girl from Brooklyn.
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," the Shirelles (1960)
"Some Kind of Wonderful," the Drifters (1961)
"Take Good Care of My Baby," Bobby Vee (1961)
"The Loco-Motion," by Little Eva (1962)
"(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman," Aretha Franklin (1967)
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