Carole King is, rightly, already part of the Hall of Fame as a Brill Building writer —she's even said that she sees herself as "first, last and always a songwriter." But the performing half of her career, kickstarted by frequent collaborator James Taylor, is certainly of merit. 1971's Tapestry, which sold 25 million copies in America, is the model for uncountable singer-songwriters since, folk and otherwise. King's beloved as much for her writing as for her lived-in performance, curiously difficult to replicate despite dozens of artists adopting her songs as their own. "Carole knew exactly what she wanted," drummer Russell Kunkel told Rolling Stone. "If she didn't like what you were doing, she would tell you what to play."