James Taylor’s Wife Caroline Smedvig Is Currently Into Charitable Causes

Caroline Smedvig was not involved in her husband James Taylor's past struggles; it was his second wife who helped him overcome his addiction!

By Chakku HaruPublished on: April 17, 2024 Updated on: May 2, 2024
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James Taylor, a six-time Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is a renowned singer-songwriter and guitarist known for hits like “Fire and Rain” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” Despite his professional success, Taylor struggled with drug addiction for about 20 years which impacted his personal life and contributed to the dissolution of his first two marriages. But, still, the artist credited his second wife for helping him to overcome his addiction.

His life dramatically improved when Taylor met his current wife Caroline Smedvig (aka Caroline “Kim” Smedvig and born Caroline Elisabeth Hessberg).

His relationship with his third spouse Caroline marks a significant chapter in his life, reflected deeply in his music.

They initially met in 1993 during a performance Taylor gave at a Boston Pops show, but it wasn’t until two years later, in 1995, they began dating. This delay was due to James’ personal circumstances that made him unavailable to pursue a relationship immediately after their first meeting.

Their first date was on June 3, 1995, a detail romantically altered in his song “On the 4th of July,” which poeticizes the beginning of their relationship.

Furthermore, his album “October Road” also includes deeply personal tracks like “Caroline I See You,” a ballad that directly references Smedvig. In this song, the guitarist openly expresses his love and regret for not doing so sooner.

They have twins born via a surrogate because Smedvig was unable to have children. Initially, the legendary singer had not planned to expand his family further, but his deepening love for his wife Smedvig, who desired a family of her own, changed his mind. He describes his experience of fatherhood as incredibly fulfilling. He said to the Chicago Tribune,

It’s undeniably primal. It’s been a delight. It’s all the things that having a family are, from ecstatic to anxiety-provoking and exhausting. It’s just a big rich slice of life.

Here’s more to know about James Taylor’s wife, Caroline, including her current whereabouts and her involvement in philanthropy.

She Is Currently Involved In Charitable Causes

Beyond their marital journey, Caroline Smedvig and her husband James have dedicated their time to various philanthropic endeavors.

They have a strong connection to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a relationship that has also inspired significant contributions. During the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the couple donated $1 million to the hospital’s Emergency Preparedness Fund. The Greatest Hits singer told The Berkshire Eagle,

This is especially true today with the threat coming from a new and insidious virus. Kim and I want to be part of this fight.

Additionally, Caroline has been a dedicated member of the board at Mass General Hospital for Children for over eight years now.

In 2016, the duo played a pivotal role in a fundraising event for the MGH Cancer Center, helping to gather $2.6 million.

Besides that, Kim Taylor also has had a diverse career spanning journalism, music, and public relations. She began her career in the media as a writer for the Knickerbocker News during her college years and later worked for the Springfield Daily News.

Other organizations Kim has worked with so far are the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) as a publicist and Volpe as a trusted advisor.

The Taylors’ Marital Journey Blended With a Shared Passion for Music

Caroline and James have been enjoying a harmonious marriage since their wedding on February 18, 2001. Their ceremony held in the intimate setting of Lindsey Chapel at Boston’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church was surrounded by fifty close friends and family members.

The Taylors couple on their big day.
James and Kim Taylor.

The couple’s relationship thrives on mutual support, often showcased through their joint musical performances. For instance, in August 2023, they enchanted the audience at the Newport Folk Festival with their rendition of “Carolina in My Mind.”

Their collaborative spirit also shone brightly during a performance at the White House for the Inflation Act Celebration on September 13, 2022.

Following one of their performances, a commentator praised the couple:

What a wonderful performance! As a senior myself, I have so much respect for others who, like myself, keep giving each day—what we may lack in physical vitality now, we have gained in spirit. Thank you, James Taylor, and thank you to Kim Taylor also for great music and spirit.

In 2024, James and Caroline celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary. On the occasion of their 15th anniversary, James, making it more special, shared heartfelt thoughts on his official website.

Superstitious animal that I am, I’m hesitant to claim any sort of victory; as we know, life is best lived one day at a time. But 15 years of happiness together must be a big number. Meeting each other and partnering up with my Caroline marks for me the beginning of my adult life. It’s all I ever wanted; the reason for hoisting my flag and putting myself before this world. Our love is where I live and where we raise our boys. I don’t really exist apart from us. And I can’t believe my luck…

Caroline and James Today Lives in Massachusetts

They currently reside in Lenox, a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts with their children and other family members.

Additionally, the couple resides year-round on Martha’s Vineyard. On the island, James co-owns Midnight Farm in Vineyard Haven, a store that specializes in natural products.

Taylor and Caroline's photo from their wedding.
The Taylors couple.

He was only 22 when the artist used the earnings from his first record deal to purchase 175 acres of woodland. This property has since been transformed into a sprawling home with a unique layout.

They Are Parents of Two Kids: One Is Following in His Father’s Footsteps

Caroline and Taylor became parents to twin boys, Rufus and Henry Taylor, in April 2001. The twins were born through surrogacy, facilitated by a family friend who underwent in vitro fertilization in 2000, as reported by the Boston Herald.

Taylor and Caroline's twins.
James and Smedvig with their twins.

Following in his father’s musical footsteps, their son Henry is a backing vocalist. He also joined his dad on a tour in 2021.

Smedvig Was Previously Married

She had previously tied the knot with Rolf Thorstein Smedvig, a distinguished principal trumpeter for a notable orchestra. The ex-couple tied the knot in December 1980 in Albany. Despite their initial commitment, their marriage ended in a divorce after a few years.

Rolf died of a heart attack on April 27, 2015, at the age of 62.

Who was James Taylor’s first wife?

He married singer Carly Simon in November 1972. Their union was marked by a modest ceremony held on November 3, 1972, in Simon’s New York apartment. At the time, Taylor was 26 and Simon was 30.

The former couple had two children: a daughter, Sarah, known as ‘Sally’, born in 1974, and a son, Ben, born three years later. Both children have followed in their parents’ footsteps, becoming singer-songwriters.

During their marriage, they emerged as a musical ‘power couple’, coinciding with the height of their musical successes. They collaborated on several duets.

Despite their professional successes, their personal relationship experienced significant strife.

“Our love became bipolar, switching from love to hate, lust to loathing, and back again, sometimes within a day,” Simon once described their turbulent relationship with Honey.

They eventually divorced in 1983.

His Second Wife Kathryn Walker Helped Him Get Off Heroin

Taylor’s journey through adolescence was fraught with challenges, leading him to leave boarding school and subsequently spend time in a mental institution. After his release, the artist cultivated his musical talents while struggling with a heroin addiction that lasted 20 years.

He described that time with Parade as “crazy and dangerous.” He openly expressed his relief at having survived such a tumultuous period, saying, “I’m really lucky to have survived it. I would tear out what’s left of my hair if I saw my kids doing the same s–t I did.”

Throughout his life, Taylor battled depression. A significant part of managing his condition has involved rigorous physical activity. He emphasized the importance of exercise in his daily routine, noting, “For years, I had to have three hours of exercise every day, no matter what. It was the only way I could stand to be in my own skin.”

During the height of his addiction, James married actress Kathryn Walker in December 1985. Although their marriage ended in 1996, Walker played a crucial role in supporting him through his struggles with heroin.

James and Kathryn.
Taylor with his second spouse Kathryn at their Wedding Ceremony on December 14, 1985, at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City.

How rich are Caroline and Taylor?

The couple has a combined net worth of $80 million as of 2024. Taylor has earned most of his wealth from his music career, particularly through profitable tours and album sales. Notably, his album “October Road” alone brought in about $1.5 million.

Smedvig’s Parents Are Dead

Caroline Smedvig was born on May 31, 1953, and raised in Albany, New York. Caroline is the daughter of Albert Hessberg, a Yale University graduate. He was also a prominent Albany lawyer and senior partner at Hiscock & Barclay. Further, Albert also served as president of the Albany County Bar Association.

Tragically, Caroline’s father passed away from cancer at the age of 78 in January 1995. Her mother, Elisabeth Fitzsimons Goold, preceded him in death in 1991.

Regarding her background, Smedvig holds American nationality and is of Caucasian ethnicity. She has two brothers, Albert and Philip.

For education, Kim Taylor went to Albany Academy for Girls and graduated in 1971. She later attended Smith College and University.

About Author: Chakku Haru

Chakku, a seasoned celebrity content writer with a profound passion for the entertainment industry. With years of experience in the field, Chakku specializes in capturing the essence of actors, singers, YouTube stars, and journalists. His expertise extends to providing in-depth insights into their lives, from their career milestones to personal anecdotes that resonate with fans worldwide. Through his captivating writing, Chakku brings the stories of these luminaries to life, leaving readers inspired and engaged