Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They were one of the most popular groups of the 1960s, and were viewed as counterculture icons of the decade's social revolution, alongside artists such as the Beatles and Bob Dylan. Their biggest hits—including "Mrs. Robinson" (1968), "The Sound of Silence" (original 1964 and a re-released overdub in 1965), "Bridge over Troubled Water" (1969) and "The Boxer" (1969)—reached number one on several charts worldwide apart from "The Sound of Silence". Their often rocky relationship led to artistic disagreements, which resulted in their breakup in 1970. Their final studio record, Bridge over Troubled Water, was their most successful, becoming one of the world's best-selling albums. Since their split in 1970 they have reunited several times, most famously in 1981 when they had "The Concert in Central Park", which attracted more than 500,000 people, the seventh-largest concert attendance in history.
The duo met as children in Queens, New York in 1953, where they learned to harmonize together and began writing original material. By 1957, under the name Tom & Jerry, the teenagers had their first minor success with "Hey Schoolgirl", a song imitating their idols the Everly Brothers. Afterwards, the duo went their separate ways, with Simon making unsuccessful solo records. In 1963, aware of a growing public interest in folk music, they regrouped and were signed to Columbia Records as Simon & Garfunkel. Their début, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., sold poorly, and they once again disbanded; Simon returned to a solo career, this time in England. A remix of their song "The Sound of Silence" gained airplay on U.S. radio in 1965, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Simon & Garfunkel reunited, releasing their second studio album Sounds of Silence and touring colleges nationwide. On their third release, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966), the duo assumed more creative control. Their music was featured in the 1967 film The Graduate, propelling the duo to further exposure. Bookends (1968), their next album, benefited from this promotion, and increased their profile. After their 1970 breakup they both continued recording, Simon releasing a number of highly acclaimed albums, including 1986's Graceland; Garfunkel also carried on acting, including the lead in Nicolas Roeg's 1980 film Bad Timing.
Simon & Garfunkel are considered the most popular folk rock act from the 1960s, and one of the most popular artists from the decade in general. Their music made a deep impression on the baby boomer generation, and they are considered alongside artists such as Bob Dylan and the Beatles to be representative of the era's cultural movements. They have been given 10 Grammy Awards, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and their Bridge Over Troubled Water album was nominated at the 1977 Brit Awards for Best International Album, and ranked at #51 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.