Paul Simon started writing songs over 60 years ago and became one of the most famous songwriters of all time.
He’s probably best known for his time in the duo Simon and Garfunkel and songs such as Bridge Over Troubled Water.
He retired in 2018, so what is Simon up to these days?
Let’s find out!
Who Is Paul Simon?
Paul Simon is a singer, songwriter, and musician. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, and raised in Queens. He first gained fame in the 1960s as half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel.
After Simon & Garfunkel broke up, Simon began a solo career and released several successful albums. His most famous early albums are “Graceland” and “The Rhythm of the Saints.”
He received numerous awards throughout his career, including 12 Grammy Awards, three of which were for Album of the Year. Simon also worked on a number of collaborative projects with other musicians. In addition, he’s a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
These projects include a reunion with Art Garfunkel in the early 1990s and an album with singer-songwriter Edie Brickell in 2013. Brickell and Simon are married and raised their three kids in Connecticut.
Simon is involved in many philanthropic and humanitarian causes. He supports organizations that work to protect the environment. He uses his music to raise awareness about important issues.
Where Did Paul Simon Find Music Writing Inspiration?
Simon is known for his unique blend of styles. He combines elements of folk, rock, and world music. As a young musician, the folk tunes of Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger were a heavy influence.
The sounds of other cultures, such as the Afro-Caribbean beats he heard while growing up in New York City, were also a significant inspiration. An example of this inspiration is the song El Condor Pasa. This track features a Peruvian melody and South American performers playing traditional instruments.
Additional influences include the work of Little Richard and Bo Diddley.
When Did Paul Simon Announce His Retirement?
In 2018 Simon announced he would be retiring from music, and his final tour was named Homeward Bound.
In a statement released on his website, Simon stated, “I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end. Now I know: It feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating and something of a relief.”
The death of his longtime guitarist was another factor in his decision to retire from touring. After years on the road, the travel took a toll on his family and relationships. The excessive traveling for his tours took away a lot of the joy from playing.
Simon closed his retirement letter by saying, “I am very grateful for a fulfilling career, and of course, most of all to the audiences that heard something in my music that touched their hearts.”
Does Paul Simon Own the Rights to His Music?
In 2021 Simon sold 100% of his catalog of over 400 songs to Sony Music Publishing. It sold for over $250 million, one of the highest-priced catalog sales in history.
The deal was for Simon’s songwriting credits only. It doesn’t include the rights to the recordings, which Sony already held. This makes the sales price even more impressive.
In a statement, Simon said he was pleased to have Sony as “the custodian of my songs for the coming decades.” He added, “I began my career at Columbia/Sony Records, and it feels like a natural extension to be working with the publishing side as well.”
Paul certainly knows how to cash in while still protecting his brand.
Is Paul Simon Currently Writing New Music?
Simon surprised fans when he recently confirmed that he was recording a new studio album.
A dream helped him spark his desire to return to the studio and provided the name for the new LP, “The Seven Psalms.”
He’s recording the songs at Reservoir Studios. This will be his first new release since he announced his retirement in 2018.
You can expect The Seven Psalms to be available in 2023. What new songs can we expect? We’ll have to wait a little longer to find out. Simon is a prolific writer and likely has plenty of new material.
What Is Paul Simon Doing Now?
Paul is currently recording his new studio album in New York. He hasn’t announced if he’ll be touring in support of these recordings.
He and his wife, Edie Brickell, now live in Wimberley, part of the Texas hill country. Edie is also a singer-songwriter. The couple has been married since 1992 and has three children. One of their famous neighbors is “the red-headed stranger,” Willie Nelson. Simon and Nelson are long-time friends.
Paul and Willie are working to protect their Texas homes’ water supply. Both have publicly expressed concerns about a developing pipeline running through their community. They believe the pipeline project could result in the contamination of their beloved Wimberley.
A Man of Passion
Paul Simon is a highly accomplished and influential musician who continues to significantly impact the industry. His unique blend of styles, and ability to craft thought-provoking pieces, have earned him widespread acclaim and numerous awards.
Fans and fellow artists admire his contributions to music and his philanthropic work. Simon continues to speak passionately about environmental issues and create new songs.
One question remains, how do we get an invitation to the next Paul and Willie jam session?