James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
Taylor achieved his major breakthrough in 1970 with the #3 single "Fire and Rain" and had his first #1 hit the following year with "You've Got a Friend", a recording of Carole King's classic song. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million US copies. Following his 1977 album, JT, he has retained a large audience over the decades. His commercial achievements declined slightly until a big resurgence during the late 1990s and 2000s, when some of his best-selling and most-awarded albums (including Hourglass, October Road and Covers) were released.
James Taylor was born at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 12, 1948, where his father, Isaac M. Taylor, was a resident physician. His father was from a well-off family of Southern Scottish ancestry. His mother, the former Gertrude Woodard, had studied singing with Marie Sundelius at the New England Conservatory of Music and was an aspiring opera singer before the couple's marriage in 1946. James was the second of five children, the others being Alex (born 1947), Kate (born 1949), Livingston (born 1950), and Hugh (born 1952).