In 1994 Carnes moved to Nashville and plunged into the city’s creative stream. The decision to move to the songwriting capitol of the world was inevitable. “I was making so many trips from Los Angeles to Nashville to write songs with different people that it just got to the point where I needed to be there,” Carnes says of her cross-country relocation. “Nashville has a great creative atmosphere. It’s a small, close-knit music community that you can’t find anywhere else.”
Carnes has penned three number one country songs, including “The Heart Won’t Lie”, a smash duet for Reba McEntire and Vince Gill. Other number one’s are “Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer”, a duet she performed with Kenny Rogers, and “Make No Mistake She’s Mine”, a duet by Rogers and Ronnie Milsap.
Co-writing with top Nashville tunesmiths like Kim Richey, Matraca Berg, Greg Barnhill, Al Anderson, Jeffrey Steele and Brett James, Carnes has had songs covered by Deana Carter, Kevin Sharp, Sawyer Brown, Suzy Bogguss, Lila McCann, Pam Tillis, Tanya Tucker and Michelle Wright. Most recently, she wrote “You Don’t Love Me Anymore”, a song on Tim McGraw’s album “A Place In The Sun”. Carnes also added background vocals on four of the tracks on McGraw’s album. She is writing with Deana Carter for her up-coming album and has a cut on Carolyn Dawn Johnson’s current album.
In spite of a busy and productive writing schedule, Carnes enjoys performing live. Whether playing concerts with her full band or acoustic in the round shows with such artists as John Hiatt, Michael McDonald, Hal Ketchum, Matraca Berg, Greg Barnhill, Deana Carter, Al Anderson, Jeffrey Steele, and Steve Wariner; Carnes’ live shows have been enthusiastically received. Recently, Kim performed a duet with Jeff Bridges of “Burning Ring of Fire” for his film “The Contender
When time allows, Carnes enjoys taking her intimate show on the road to a variety of notable performing arts centers. From small venues like a vintage theatre in Santa Fe to a 5,000 seat outdoor amphitheater in Seattle, her live performances are natural, powerful, and entertaining. Showing her versatility, she has even performed with the Nashville Symphony.
A native of Los Angeles, Carnes knew for the time that she was three years old that she was going to write songs and perform them for people. Success was never in doubt. Carnes garnered her first record deal in 1972 with famous record producer Jimmy Bowen. After a stint with A&M Records, she became the first signed artist at the newly established EMI-America (Capitol) in 1978. Soon after, her duet with Gene Cotton on “You’re a Part Of Me” became her first top-forty hit. She then took on the unusual task of writing an entire concept album for Kenny Rogers.
The result was his multi-platinum seller Gideon, which included their own chart-topping duet, “Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer”. Her first top 10 hit followed, a remake of Smokey Robinson’s “More Love”. Then came the marvelously haunting “Bette Davis Eyes”. Winning Grammy’s for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, the smash hit propelled Carnes” Mistaken Identity album to number one in the U.S. and almost every country in the world.
Assured of a place in music history, Carnes continued to augment her success through the 1980’s. While releasing acclaimed albums like Voyeur (1982), Café Racers (1983), Barking At Airplanes (1985), and Lighthouse (1986), Carnes’ album View From The House (1988) yielded “Crazy In Love”, a top 10 Adult Contemporary hit, while Barking At Airplanes produced the top 15 hit “Crazy In The Night”.
She also contributed “I’ll Be Here Where The Heart Is” to the Grammy-winning soundtrack Flashdance and sang with Kenny Rogers and James Ingram on the top 15 hit, “What About Me?”. In addition, she was part of an all-star chorus on the legendary “We Are The World” recording and video. Carnes also wrote and produced the top 20 song “Make No Mistake He’s Mine”, a duet she recorded with Barbara Streisand. Kim Carnes is a wellspring of soul-stirring lyrics and melodies. In total harmony when composing music, she loves the creative process and the opportunity to work with Nashville’s best. “I write from what’s in my heart,” Carnes says. “I write what I love and have always done that. I’m so lucky to be writing and performing with some of the best writers in the world. I’m having a blast.”
"I never had any other thought in my mind. I was gonna write songs, I was gonna be a star and a singer and I never thought of doing anything else." -Kim Carnes