James Taylor’s music embodies the art of songwriting in its most personal and universal forms. He is a master at describing specific, even autobiographical situations in a way that resonates with people everywhere. As a recording and touring artist, Taylor has set a precedent to which countless young musicians have aspired. His warm baritone is among the most recognized voices in popular music and his distinctive style of guitar-playing has been enormously influential. He has sold more than fifty million albums throughout his career and has earned forty gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards and five Grammy Awards. His songs have had a profound influence on songwriters and music lovers from all walks of life: "Fire and Rain," "Country Road," "Something in the Way She Moves," "Mexico," "Shower the People," "Your Smiling Face," "Carolina In My Mind," "Sweet Baby James," "Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," "You Can Close Your Eyes," "Walking Man," "Never Die Young," "Shed a Little Light," "Copperline," and many more.
In a career marked by artistic triumphs, this past year for Taylor has been notable for both creative virtuosity and recognition of exceptional achievement. In March 2011, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House. Taylor was also honored with a Carnegie Hall Perspectives series, which consisted of four concert evenings presented by Carnegie Hall and featuring Taylor and personally selected musical guests.