27 years ago on 4 February, Karen Anne suddenly suffered a heart failure in her parents' house. She was brought to the hospital but pronounced dead 20 minutes later. The cause - complications due to eating disorder. She was just 32. Her full name - Karen Anne Carpenter.
Together with her brother Richard, the Carpenters sold over 100 million albums and singles worldwide, which is quite a feat if you consider this was way before the age of downloads and pirated copies.
Aside from their distinctively soft musical style and beautiful ballads, the main reason why this duo is well-loved is of course Karen's soothing deep alto voice. There was just no comparison in the richness of her lower register and she used that to her advantage.
One of the Carpenter's most memorable song is Goodbye To Love. At the time, it was heavily criticize for infusing fuzz guitar in the middle of the song, something never ever done before in a love ballad. Many of the Carpenter fans were not happy about this. Even radio stations refused to play this song, which is the reason why it never became a number one hit. Mr. B. also mentioned to me that there are passages in the song where Karen sang long verses without stopping to breathe! Looking back now, one can really appreciate the uniqueness of this creation, thanks to the wonderful vision of brother Richard.
27 years on and a whole new generation may still be listening to Top of the World or singing every sha-la-la-la. I think Karen Carpenter is one of the greatest humans who ever lived because of her unique gift and the generations of people she influenced with her music.
The world will never forget Karen Carpenter.
Video : Goodbye to Love by The Carpenters