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Carole King plays Hardball

From "A Natural Woman" to "The Loco-Motion," Carole King has made her mark on the music industry.

From "A Natural Woman" to "The Loco-Motion," Carole King has made her mark on the music industry.

Now the singer, songwriter and activist has been awarded the prestigious George Gershwin prize--the first woman ever to receive the honor.  The award recognizes her achievements in music spanning the last six decades.

"By the age of four, Carole was already mastering the piano. By 15, she had already conducted her first orchestra. By 17, she had already written her first number one hit, which you've already heard, 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow', with Gerry Goffin," said President Obama at the Gershwin prize ceremony earlier this week. "So at this point, all of you are feeling like underachievers. I understand."

Hardball's Chris Matthews asked King on Friday about a moment during the ceremony when the president leaned over to whisper something in her ear.

"He whispered to me 'What year did you write 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow?' and knowing his birth date I said '1961'," King revealed.

King is also the woman behind classics such as "You've Got a Friend" and "I Feel the Earth Move."

Did she know when she had a hit on her hands?

"You know, it happens. There are many people more talented than I am, but I am lucky to be where I am," said the songwriter.  "I'm not saying I don't have talent.  I'm just saying it could be anybody, so go for it."

King has become an active political voice when she isn't working on her musical legacy. She backed Rep. Ed Markey in Massachusetts and also praised Obama's speech Thursday on the use of drone strikes.

"If I'm in charge of taking care of the American people, I'm going to do something," King told Matthews. "He's actually saying 'I'm going to give up some power.' When have you ever heard a president do that?"

Next up on Carole King's schedule is a performance at a concert for Boston Strong on May 30.