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Gerry Goffin, Carole King’s Ex-Husband and Songwriting Partner, Dead at 75

Gerry Goffin, the lyricist whose work with songwriting partner (and wife at the time) Carole King yielded some of pop music’s most enduring hits, has died of natural causes at his L.A. home. He was 75.

Goffin’s wife, Michelle, announced the death.

Goffin, whose relationship with King is the focus of the Broadway musical “Beautiful,” married King in 1959 and collaborated with her on a string of major pop hits, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (for the Shirelles), “Some Kind of Wonderful” (the Drifters), “The Loco-Motion” (Little Eva) and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (The Monkees”). After his split with King, with whom he had two daughters, he continued to write tunes including Whitney Houston’s 1986 hit “Saving All My Love For You.”

He earned an Oscar nomination for the theme song from 1975 film “Mahogany,” a tune he wrote with Micahel Masser, and a Golden Globe nod for Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “So Sad the Song” from the 1976 movie “Pipe Dreams.”

“Gerry Goffin was my first love,” King said in a statement. “He had a profound impact on my life and the rest of the world.  Gerry was a good man and a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come.  His legacy to me is our two daughters, four grandchildren, and our songs that have touched millions and millions of people, as well as a lifelong friendship. He will be missed by his wonderful wife Michelle, his devoted manager, Christine Russell, his five children, and six grandchildren.”

Though best known as a Brill Building tunesmith — his songs reached No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart seven times, in addition to dozens of Top 40 singles — Goffin struck out on his own as a performer in 1973 with the Dylanesque double album “It Ain’t Exactly Entertainment.” It took 23 years before Goffin managed a follow-up, “Back Room Blood,” with Bob Dylan himself as a collaborator.

Along with King, Goffin was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

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