Karen Carpenter tragedy THE SONGS THAT BROKE HER HEART
New Zealand Woman's Weekly|January 17, 2022
Her death at 32 is made all the more tragic by the revelation the singer had only just begun to live

With her soft, caramel-laced vocal tones, Karen Carpenter had a whole generation of music lovers falling at her feet in the 1970s.

As one half of the wildly successful brother-and-sister pop duo the Carpenters, she made hearts swoon with her mellow, honey-dipped songs.

Then, 13 years after becoming famous, the star broke those same hearts when she died suddenly of a heart attack after many years of suffering from anorexia nervosa.

Books, newspaper articles and movies have all been written about the life and death of the adored and critically acclaimed singer.

But what few fans knew was that at the time of her demise, aged 32, Karen was struggling to free herself of her girl-next-door image and had even cut a sexy solo album that would have changed the way the world saw her forever.

In an authorised new biography entitled Carpenters: The Musical Legacy, Karen’s budding solo career is brushed over in just a few paragraphs. But many in the music industry – including the late Grammy award-winning producer Phil Ramone – maintained for years after her untimely death that if she’d lived, Karen’s musical legacy would have been markedly different from the all-American sweetheart that has been written into the history books.

“The new Karen Carpenter who was emerging in the 80s was liberated and far less demure,” tells an industry insider. “Now, we will never know…”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NEW ZEALAND WOMAN'S WEEKLYView All

Tania Dalton's brave daughter:‘I STILL FEEL CONNECTED TO MUM'

Basketballer Tayla’s making her late Silver Fern mother proud by living out her hoop dreams in America

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022

Jessie time to shine: 'PEOPLE TURNED THEIR BACKS ON ME'

It’s taken time for the talented star to get noticed, but now Hollywood’s knocking

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022

Brand Markle LOSES SPARKLE

Meghan and Harry’s deals are up in the air after negative feedback

1 min read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022

Kate's secret advisor CAROLE MIDDLETON SAVES THE ROYALS

How she rekindled her daughter’s romance when it all looked lost

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022

Charlotte turns seven

Where have the years gone? Princess Charlotte has just celebrated her seventh birthday – and her parents marked the occasion by sharing a series of beautiful photos taken by her mum, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

1 min read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022

BIG BUDDY, BIG HELP! ‘I thank the universe for Pat!'

A single mum reached out and was rewarded with perfect role model

3 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022

Ange's stand FOR UKRAINE

The star took the battle-weary by surprise

1 min read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022

Nikki's island hideaway: ‘I STILL NEED TO HEAL'

Leaving the buzz of the Beehive has opened up a whole new world

8 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022

Surf's up, Nancy ‘I'M MAKING WAVES AT 92!'

After buying her boy a board, there was no way the mum was going to be left on the beach

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022

LOOK WHO'S BACK!

It's been 35 years since Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan's characters tied the knot on Neighbours. Now that the iconic Aussie soap is ending, the two stars have revealed they're returning for the show's big finale.

1 min read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
May 16, 2022