Valerie Carter, Longtime Singer with James Taylor and Others, Dies

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Valerie Carter’s 1978 album Wild Child

Rock singer Valerie Carter, a longtime member of James Taylor’s recording and touring band, died Saturday, March 4, at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. She was 64. The announcement was made by her longtime manager, Jim Della Croce.

While Carter was well known for her association with Taylor, she also made significant contributions, on tour and record, to a host of other classic rock greats including Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Ringo Starr, Lowell George and Little Feat, John Sebastian, Christopher Cross and Randy Newman.

Her backing vocal recording credits continue like a “Who’s Who” of popular music. Carter also sang on albums by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Lyle Lovett, Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson and dozens of others.

Watch her perform “Just a Stone’s Throw Away” at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ in 1976…

“Beyond her 45-year professional career as a solo artist and one of the music industry’s premier vocalists, Val was a dear friend to her beloved industry friends and associates. Her soft, sultry and soulful voice made an indelible imprint on fans worldwide. Val’s warm heart will be fondly remembered, always loved and never replaced,” Della Croce said.

In 2009, Carter was arrested in St. Petersburg for cocaine and crack possession. When she completed the court requirements in 2011, it was Taylor who appeared at her “graduation ceremony.” “Thank you,” she said. “Thank you for taking such good care of me.”

Related: Tributes from James Taylor, others

Valerie Carter’s work as a solo artist is highlighted by her 1977 debut solo album on Columbia Records, Just a Stone’s Throw Away. Highly regarded by critics, industry insiders and fans alike this album set the bar for many singers and musicians.

Carter was born February 5, 1953. She is survived by her sister, Janice, and mother Dorothy.

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