Growing up in North Carolina, James Taylor's first instrument was the cello, but he was hooked by guitar in the early 1960s. He wrote his first song at the age of 14 and teamed up with fellow young guitarist Danny Kortchmar playing coffee houses under the name Jamie & Kootch. Suffering from depression, in 1965 Taylor admitted himself into a psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts, an experience which later fuelled some of his most successful songs, such as 'Fire & Rain'. He then moved to New York where he formed the band Flying Machine, which played around Greenwich Village. When the band split, Taylor relocated to London where he was signed by Apple and recorded his self-titled debut solo album, which included the classic 'Carolina in My Mind'. It wasn't a commercial success and he returned to the States to record his breakthrough album 'Sweet Baby James' (1970). In 1971 he scored his biggest hit with a cover of Carole King's 'You've Got a Friend' and later married singer Carly Simon. Other hits include a cover of Marvin Gaye's 'How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)' from sixth album 'Gorilla' (1975) and 'Handy Man' from eighth studio album 'JT' (1977). In 1997 Taylor returned to prominence with the release of Grammy Award-winning album 'Hourglass' followed by 'October Road' (2002), which peaked at number four on the Billboard 200. His relaxed style proved durable into the 2000s, with recent albums including 'Covers' (2008), 'Before This World' and 'American Standard' (2020).