Benjamin Scott "Ben" Folds (born September 12, 1966) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and the former frontman of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five who now performs as a solo artist and collaborates with many other musicians.
Folds became attracted to piano at age nine. His father, a carpenter, brought one home through a barter trade with a customer who was unable to pay. During this time, Folds listened to songs by Elton John and Billy Joel on AM radio, and learned them by ear. During his years at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Folds played in several bands as the pianist, bassist, or drummer.