Karen Carpenter

Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer, who formed half of the sibling duo the Carpenters alongside her older brother Richard. With a distinctive three-octave contralto range, she was praised by her peers for her vocal skills. Carpenter's struggle with and eventual death of heart failure related to her years-long struggle with anorexia would later raise awareness of eating disorders and body dysmorphia and their possible causes. Carpenter was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and moved to Downey, California in 1963 with her family. She began to study the drums in high school and joined the Long Beach State choir after graduating. After several years of touring and recording, the Carpenters were signed to A&M Records in 1969, achieving enormous commercial and critical success throughout the 1970s. Initially, Carpenter was the band's full-time drummer, but she gradually took the role of frontwoman as her drumming was reduced to a handful of live showcases or tracks on albums. From then on she found her appearance under constant scrutiny and developed anorexia as a way to cope with the massive pressure to look slim on stage. At the age of 32, Carpenter died of heart failure due to complications from anorexia nervosa, which was little-known outside celebrity circles at the time, and her death led to increased visibility and awareness of eating disorders. Interest in her life and death has spawned numerous documentaries and movies. Carpenter's work continues to attract praise, including appearing on Rolling Stone's 2010 list of the 100 greatest singers of all time.

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