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In this Articulate exclusive, singer-songwriter Ben Folds performs “The Luckiest” from his 2001 album Rockin’ the Suburbs at Irving Plaza in New York City.

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Ben Folds
Ben Folds

Ben Folds is a well-regarded musician and songwriter known for his work with the Ben Folds Five, extensive solo career, and cross-genre collaborations.

Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1966, he began learning piano at age 9 and played in several high school rock bands. He studied at the University of Miami and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, played drums and bass in several bands and as a Nashville session musician, and acted in New York City before founding Ben Folds Five in 1993.

Folds released three albums with the group, an alternative rock trio, scoring a Billboard top 20 hit with the 1997 single “Brick.” His three solo studio albums, Rockin’ the Suburbs (2001), Songs for Silverman (2005), and Way to Normal (2008) all reached the Billboard top 50, and a Ben Folds Five reunion record, The Sound of the Mind (2012) peaked at number 10.

Folds has collaborated with a variety of other artists, including The Dresden Dolls, Weird Al Yankovich, and numerous orchestras. He published a memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs, in 2019.