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It is rare that an artist who captures and expresses the sentiments of a particular era goes on to expand his horizons while remaining a powerful cultural and personal force. Paul Simon is undoubtedly among this select group. Performing with Art Garfunkel, a childhood friend, as “Simon and Garfunkel,” he was largely responsible for writing, arranging, and recording the duo’s classic folk and rock songs.
In 1972, he released his first solo album, “Paul Simon.” He produced the groundbreaking “Graceland” album in 1986. In 1998, Mr. Simon wrote and produced the Broadway musical, “The Capeman,” collaborating with the poet and Nobel laureate Derek Walcott. In 2000, he released the album “You’re The One,” during which time he toured with Bob Dylan. Last year, Mr. Simon was a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Award. Most recently, Mr. Simon wrote the song “Father and Daughter” for the animated movie “The Wild Thornberrys, ” which has been nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Song.”
Mr. Simon’s contributions to charitable causes attest to his commitment to civic involvement. He is co-founder of the Children’s Health Fund, bringing medical care to homeless and indigent children. He has raised money for the Nature Conservancy, the Fund for Detained and Imprisoned Children in South Africa, and AmFar. In 1989, in recognition for his efforts, the United Negro College Fund bestowed upon Mr. Simon its highest honor, the Frederick D. Patterson Award.
Mr. Simon grew up in Queens, and graduated from Queens College in 1965. He has received twelve Grammy awards and various other music-related honors. MusiCares honored him recently with their 2001 Person of the Year Award, and on March 21, 2001, Paul Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.