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…”
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