Drawing: Carole King


Carole King is one of the most influential songwriters of our time. Her second of 25 solo albums,’Tapestry’ is one of the best selling records of all time with over 25 million copies sold worldwide. It won four Grammy Awards in 1972, including Album of the Year. Carole became the first solo female artist to win Song of the Year (‘You’ve Got A Friend’) and Record of the Year (‘It’s Too Late’). It remained on the Billboard Charts for 313 weeks, second only to Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon”. Carole has been named the most successful songwriter for the period 1955-1999, writing or co-writing 118 Billboard Chart Hits. She has also taken the same honour in the UK with 61 hits between 1952-2005.

I drew this sketch of Carole last year and hoped to get it signed when she attended the opening of BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at the Aldwych Theatre in London in February 2015, but didn’t manage to get there. Carole also played Hyde Park this summer, but it’s a difficult venue to get graphs and stalking hotels is not part of my MO. So I did the old fashioned thing and sent it to her at her production studio in California and it came back signed and dedicated in next to no time.

Sketch: Katie Brayben in Beautiful, Aldwych Theatre

Katie Brayben

West End’s newest leading lady, Katie Brayben, has just been nominated for an Olivier Award for her role as the legendary singer songwriter Carole King in Beautiful – the Carole King Musical.

Katie’s nod for Best Actress in a Musical is one of eight for the show, “I am absolutely over the moon,” she told Digital Spy.

Katie doesn’t read reviews, so in case she’s reading this, I won’t spoil it for her, other than to say her Olivier nomination would have the unanimous support of all the critics.

One of the most successful songwriters in pop music history, Carole King’s life story has been transformed into a hit Broadway musical, with 7 Tony nominations, winning Best Leading Actress for Jessie Mueller.

Carole was one of Katie’s idols and actually appeared at the curtain call on the press night. When Katie was signing my sketch at the stage door after Saturday’s matinee, I asked her if she knew Carole would be there and she said, “no, if I had known, I wouldn’t have been able to do it!”