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 and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the No. 3 single “Fire and Rain” and had his first No. 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. After a 45-year wait, James earned his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with Before This World. The album, which was released on June 16 through Concord Records, arrived atop the chart dated July 4, 2015 — more than 45 years after Taylor arrived on the list with Sweet Baby James (on the March 14, 1970 list). The album launched atop the Billboard 200 with 97,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending June 21, 2015 according to Nielsen Music. Of its start, pure album sales equated to 96,000 copies sold—Taylor’s best debut week for an album since 2002’s October Road.