Ben has been playing the piano since he was nine and during high school played in several bands as the pianist, bassist, or drummer.
After many years of being a drummer and bassist in a variety of bands, he devoted much of his time to working on his piano technique. In 1995 Ben Folds Five released their self-titled debut album; this was followed by “Whatever and Ever Amen” in 1997. The album produced many hits, such as “Brick,” “Song for the Dumped” and “Battle of Who Could Care Less.” In 1999 the band released their final album, “The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner,” which included the hit “Army.”
Ben Folds Five gained a strong following in the U.K. and Australia, with five singles making the national top 40 in Britain.
In his solo career, Ben has released six solo LPs. Ben also contributed to William Shatner’s album “Has Been” as producer, arranger, musician and backup vocalist.
In May 2006, Ben contributed three original songs to the Over the Hedge soundtrack, and also a cover of The Clash song “Lost in the Supermarket” and a remix of “Rockin’ the Suburbs.”
Ben became the first person to broadcast a live concert via MySpace. Ben’s most recent album, “Way to Normal,” was released in 2008 in the U.S. and became his highest-charting album ever, debuting at #11 on the Billboard 200.
In April 2009, Ben released an album that consisted of commissioned a cappella arrangements of his music from some of the country’s best vocal troupes, “Ben Folds Presents University a Cappella.” He was also an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards’ judging panel to support independent artists. With all his talents combined, Ben makes for one tough judge that the contestants of The Sing-Off are going to have to impress!
The Sing-Off premieres on MuchMore Sunday September 25 at 7ET/4PT.