Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor. Simon’s musical career has spanned seven decades. He reached fame and commercial success as half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1956 with Art Garfunkel (the duo was originally known as Tom & Jerry). Simon was responsible for writing nearly all of the pair’s songs, including three that reached number one on the U.S. singles charts: “The Sound of Silence“, “Mrs. Robinson“, and “Bridge over Troubled Water“.
After the duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity, Simon began a successful solo career. He recorded three acclaimed albums over the next five years. In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music, which sold 14 million copies worldwide on its release and remains his most popular solo work. Simon also wrote and starred in the film One-Trick Pony (1980) and co-wrote the Broadway musical The Capeman (1998) with the poet Derek Walcott. On June 3, 2016, Simon released his 13th solo album, Stranger to Stranger, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album Chart and the UK charts.
Simon has earned sixteen Grammys for his solo and collaborative work, including three for Album of the Year (Bridge Over Troubled Water, Still Crazy After All These Years, and Graceland), and a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2006 was selected as one of the “100 People Who Shaped the World” by Time. In 2011, Rolling Stone named Simon one of the 100 greatest guitarists. In 2015, he was named one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time by Rolling Stone. Among many other honors, Simon was the first recipient of the Library of Congress‘s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2007.