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Taylor was born in Boston and grew up with her four brothers in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where her father Isaac Taylor was dean of the medical school at the University of North Carolina. Her mother, Trudy, grew up in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and received training as a lyric soprano in Boston.
As a member of one of the most famous musical families in America, Taylor and her four brothers, Alex, Livingston, Hugh and James, have all enjoyed success as performing and recording artists, starting in the late 1960s. Kate, Livingston and James are still recording and have active touring careers; Hugh owns the Outermost Inn on Martha's Vineyard; Alex is deceased. James Taylor's career has been particularly successful.
Taylor formed her first band at age 15 and had her first record deal with Atlantic Records four years later. Produced by her manager at the time, Peter Asher, she released her debut album Sister Kate in 1971. Her second album, the 1978 self-titled Kate Taylor, was produced by her brother James and Lew Hahn on Columbia Records. It was well received, and produced another charting hit, "It's in His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)", done as a duet with James. It peaked at 49 on the Billboard charts.
After this release Taylor took a break from the music industry to raise her two young daughters, Elizabeth Witham and Aretha Witham.
- Sister Kate (1971)
- Kate Taylor (1978)
- It's in There (1979)
- Beautiful Road (2003)
- Kate Taylor Live at The Cutting Room (2005)
- Fair Time! (2009)
Participations on compilation albums
- Strong Hand of Love, tribute to Mark Heard, 1994
- Orphans of God, tribute to Mark Heard, 1994
- Follow That Road, 1994
- In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record, 1980
- White, Timothy (2005-10-01). Long Ago and Far Away: James Taylor: His Life and Music. Omnibus. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-84449-864-2. Retrieved 30 July 2011.