Born Sarah Jean Parker in Columbus, Georgia, on March 15, 1947, Jean Carne's remarkable voice was first heard in the 1970s. While attending Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Carne learned to speak Russian fluently. After graduating in 1965, Carne attended Morris Brown College and was planning on attending Juilliard School of Music when she met and married Doug Carne.
Carne's first exposure to the public was as a teenager in Atlanta, singing Misty on a morning radio show. After meeting her husband, Carne joined his jazz fusion band as a vocalist, and they went on to record three albums. This work attracted the attention of the group Earth, Wind & Fire, which Carne joined as a back-up vocalist on its first two albums. After leaving Earth, Wind & Fire, Carne toured with Duke Ellington, and then went on to join Buddah Records. In 1975, Carne hit the top-ten charts with Norman Connors on the single Valentine Love. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, Carne continued to record and tour, releasing such popular singles as Was That All It Was, Free Love, and Don't Let It Go To Your Head, through Philadelphia International Records, and in 1982, she signed with industry giant Motown Records. In 1986, Carne joined Omni Records, which produced her first number-one hit, Closer Than Close. Carne continued to record throughout the 1990s, including the release of a greatest hits album; she also continued to tour frequently.
In addition to her successful singing career, Carne raised three children.