The other day I heard on the radio that Judy Collins would be performing in concert with Stephen Stills, and then doing her own concert tour after that. I was intrigued that she was still performing and touring, and wondered how old she was and what gave her such staying power… in an industry that sees so many musical artists come and go.
With the amazing tool of Human Design to help understand how she’s wired energetically, I ran her chart and also looked up some of her history.
It turns out she is 78 (almost exactly a year older than Wayne Dyer would have been), and still going strong!
Her chart gives us great clues about her sustainability, her sensitivity, and what has kept her driven all these years.
photo of Judy Collins at Cambridge Folk Festival 2008, by Bryan Ledgard from Yorkshire, UK – judy collins, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61825218
BACKGROUND (excerpted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Collins)
Judy Collins (born May 1, 1939) is an American singer and songwriter known for her eclectic tastes in the material she records (which has included folk music, show tunes, pop music, rock and roll and standards) and for her social activism.
Collins’ debut album A Maid of Constant Sorrow was released in 1961 [age 22], but it was the lead single from her 1967 album Wildflowers, “Both Sides, Now” — written by Joni Mitchell — that gave Collins international prominence. The single hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and won Collins her first Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance. She enjoyed further success with her recordings of “Someday Soon”, “Chelsea Morning”, “Amazing Grace”, and “Cook with Honey”.
Collins experienced the biggest success of her career with her recording of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” from her best-selling 1975 album Judith. The single charted on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in 1975 and then again in 1977, spending 27 non-consecutive weeks on the chart and earning Collins a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, as well as a Grammy Award for Sondheim for Song of the Year.
[Her career has been brilliantly successful spanning many decades but her personal life has had many challenges.]
Collins contracted polio at the age of eleven and spent two months in the hospital in isolation.
Collins has been married twice. Her first marriage in 1958 to Peter Taylor produced her only child, Clark C. Taylor, born the same year. The marriage ended in divorce in 1965.
In 1962, shortly after her debut at Carnegie Hall, Collins was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent six months recuperating in a sanatorium.
Collins later admitted having suffered from bulimia after she quit smoking in the 1970s. “I went straight from the cigarettes into an eating disorder”, she told People magazine in 1992. “I started throwing up. I didn’t know anything about bulimia, certainly not that it is an addiction or that it would get worse. My feelings about myself, even though I had been able to give up smoking and lose 20 lbs., were of increasing despair.” She has written at length of her years of addiction to alcohol, the damage it did to her personal and musical life and how it contributed to her feelings of depression. She entered a rehabilitation program in Pennsylvania in 1978 and has maintained her sobriety ever since, even through such traumatic events as the death of her only child, Clark, who committed suicide in 1992 at age 33 after a long bout with clinical depression and substance abuse. Since his death, she has also become an activist for suicide prevention. In April 1996, she married designer Louis Nelson, whom she had been seeing since 1979. They live in Manhattan in New York City.
Remainder of this Background section is excerpted from: http://www.judycollins.com/biography/
Throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and up to the present, she has remained a vital artist, enriching her catalog with critically acclaimed albums while balancing a robust touring schedule.
Prolific as ever… In 2012, she released the CD/DVD Judy Collins Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art which aired on PBS. This special television program was nominated for a New York Emmy and won a Bronze Medal at the 2013 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards. Based on it’s success, in 2014 she filmed another spectacular show in Ireland at Dromoland Castle. Live In Ireland was released in 2014. This program also won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards and the program will broadcast on PBS in 2014 and 2015.
Judy has also authored several books, including the powerful and inspiring, Sanity & Grace and her extraordinary memoir, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music. For her most recent title to be released in 2017, Cravings, she provides a no-holds barred account of her harrowing struggle with compulsive overeating, and the journey that led her to a solution. Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has encountered along the way (Atkins, Jean Nidetch of Weight Watchers, Andrew Weil, to name a few), Cravings is the culmination of Judy’s genuine desire to share what she’s learned—so that no one has follow her heart-rending path to recovery.
In addition, she remains a social activist, representing UNICEF and numerous other causes. She is the director (along with Jill Godmillow) of an Academy Award-nominated film about Antonia Brico – PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, the first woman to conduct major symphonies around the world–and Judy’s classical piano teacher when she was young.
Judy Collins, now 78, is as creatively vigorous as ever, writing, touring worldwide, and nurturing fresh talent. She is a modern day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.
CHART & CHART REVIEW
Below is Judy’s Human Design chart and my audio recording of a quick overview of her chart. The recording is not intended to be a thorough Reading –I could talk for several hours about a chart! I’ve simply pulled key aspects of this chart that really illuminate why she is the way she is.
Click the play arrow to listen now, or click the download link to listen later. Enjoy!
(I mention in the recording that Judy is 77, but she actually turned 78 in May this year. Also, there is a little glitch somewhere in minute 6, but not much was lost. I simply don’t have time to re-record it right now.)