The Carpenters were a vocal and instrumental duo, consisting of American sister Karen and
brother Richard Carpenter. The Carpenters were the #1 selling American music act of the 1970s.
Though often referred to by the public as "The Carpenters", the duo's official name on authorized
recordings and press materials is simply Carpenters, without the definite article. During a period
in the 1970s when louder and wilder rock was in great demand, Richard and Karen produced a
distinctively soft musical style that made them among the best-selling music artists of all time.
Carpenters' melodic pop produced a record-breaking run of hit recordings on the American Top 40
and Adult Contemporary charts, and they became leading sellers in the soft rock, easy listening and
adult contemporary genres. Carpenters had three #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and fifteen
#1 hits on the Adult Contemporary Chart (see The Carpenters discography). In addition, they had
twelve top 10 singles (including their #1 hits). To date, Carpenters' album and single sales total
more than 100 million units.
During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded 11 albums, five of which contained top 10
singles (Close to You, Carpenters, A Song for You, Now & Then and Horizon), thirty-one singles, five
television specials, and one short-lived television series. They toured in the United States, the
United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands and Belgium. Their recording career ended with
Karen's death in 1983 from cardiac arrest following complications of anorexia nervosa. Extensive
news coverage of the circumstances surrounding her death increased public awareness of the
consequences of eating disorders.