Ben Folds (born as Benjamin Scott Folds) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Born on 12 September 1966 Ben became involved in music at the age of nine when he took an interest in learning how to play the piano; eventually, he spent his free time in high school playing in various bands as a bassist, pianist, or drummer. During the late 80s Ben teamed up with long time friend Millard Powers to form a band called Majosha; and during their short run, they played gigs around Duke University and put out a self-produced EP called “Party Night:Five Songs About Jesus” in 1988. The band, however, parted ways and Ben eventually signed a publishing deal with Nashville Music and worked as a session musician playing drums.
After spending some time living in Nashville and Miami, Ben moved back to North Carolina and formed Ben Folds Five with bassist Robert Sledge, and drummer Darren Jesse in 1994. The following year the trio released their self-titled debut album, followed by “Whatever And Ever Amen” in 1997. The self-described “punk rock for sissies” band did fairly well, but never reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart despite gaining a large following in the UK and Australia. The band continued to tour and put out albums, but in 2001 the band broke up and Ben pursued a solo career; starting with his first album, “Rockin The Suburbs” released in 2001.
After the release of his first album, he continued to put out more music, with a live album in 2002, followed a year later by two EPs called “Speed Graphic” and “Sunny 16.” He also took part in working on film soundtracks, both as producer as well as arranger and musician for said projects. By 2008 he had released six solo LPs and had gone on many tours around the world. His success in the music industry led to him becoming a judge on the US television singing competition “The Sing-Off,” and remained on for a following three more seasons. By 2011 Ben Folds Five reunited and they released “The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind.”