Valerie Carter, (born Valerie Gail Zakian Carter on February 5, 1953), Carter was born to James J and Dorothy Carter, is an American singer-songwriter. Carter is perhaps best known as a back-up vocalist who has recorded and performed with a number of artists including Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Linda Ronstadt, Christopher Cross, Little Feat, The Outlaws and, most notably, James Taylor. Carter has written songs for Judy Collins ("Cook with Honey" from Collins' 1973 album True Stories and Other Dreams), Jackson Browne ("Love Needs a Heart" from his 1977 album Running on Empty) and "Turn It into Something Good" (from Earth, Wind & Fire's 1980 album Faces) to name but three. She has released four solo studio albums, a live album and a compilation album. She recorded with Howdy Moon, produced by Lowell George, her two first albums in ARC/Columbia in 1977 and 1979, and sang for Jackson Browne, Earth Wind & Fire, Christopher Cross and, mainly, James Taylor's album and tours. In 1996 Carter returned with "The Way It Is" covering several friends' songs (by Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, and Warren Zevon) and a Japanese live album.