Carole King makes surprise appearance on Broadway

e Carole King performs at the 2014 MusiCares Person Of The Year Gala Honoring Carole King at Los Angeles Convention Center on Jan. 24, 2014, in Los Angeles.
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Carole King has surprised the cast of the Broadway musical about her life, walking out on stage at the Stephen Sondheim Theater during the curtain call of "Beautiful."

She then sang one of her biggest hits, "You've Got a Friend," trading verses with Jessie Mueller, the actress that plays her in the show.

King was reluctant until Thursday night to see the musical because it tells of a painful time in her life.

She says in a statement released after the show that it was an honor to see the show for the first time and that she was thrilled to help the cast raise $30,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

King says "Jessie Mueller and company are fantastic, and it was so joyous to be there. I couldn't be more proud."

In January, King was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year.

In 2012, King published her memoir, "A Natural Woman." Last year, she became the first woman to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, presented by the Library of Congress.