was born on March 2, 1950 in New Haven, CT. She died on February 4, 1983. With her death
, the world lost one of its most talented musicians
. She was a pioneer
singer, exploring the relatively untouched world of melancholy
vocals in her music.
Along with her brother, Richard (4 years her senior), the popular and talented soft rock group, The Carpenters, was formed. Producers immediately recognized their skill, and the Carpenters quickly got a record deal.
They became a household name and toured the world. But behind the fairy tale, a tragic event was unfolding.
Although she brought happiness to countless people, Karen was not satisfied with her appearance. She began dieting uncontrollably, and collapsed onstage at a concert in the mid 70s.
She was admitted to the hospital and declared 35 pounds underweight.
But despite this, she still did not gain weight. Even with her poor health, she continued to sing, her voice loved by millions.
In 1982, Karen finally realized how ill she was and sought treatment from the famous Steven Levenkron. Her treatment program did not help her. She began ingesting up to 200 laxatives at a time to control her weight.
Along with the abuse of several other substances (Ipecac and thyroid medication) she had gotten her weight down to 77 pounds and yet she felt well enough to go home for a while. People thought she looked worse than ever.
On February 4, her mother found her unconscious in a closet. Karen was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, and 20 minutes later she was pronounced dead of heart failure due to the effects of Anorexia Nervosa.
One of the greatest voices of a generation was silenced forever. Karen was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cypress, CA.