Regina Ilyinichna Spektor (born February 18, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She was born in the Soviet Union where she began classical training on the piano at the age of 6. When she was 9 years old, her family emigrated to the United States where she continued her classical training into her teenage years; she began to write original songs shortly thereafter.
After self-releasing her first three records and gaining popularity in New York City's independent music scenes, particularly the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village, Spektor signed with Sire Records in 2004 where she began achieving greater mainstream notoriety. After giving her third album a major label re-release, Sire released her fourth album, Begin to Hope which would go on to achieve Gold certification. Her following two albums, Far and What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, each debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200.
Spektor was born in Moscow, Soviet Union, in 1980 to a musical Russian Jewish family. Her father, Ilya Spektor, is a photographer and amateur violinist. Her mother, Bella Spektor, was a music professor in a Soviet college of music and teaches at a public elementary school in Mount Vernon, New York. She has a brother Boruch (Bear), who was featured in track 7, "* * *", or "Whisper", of her 2004 album, Soviet Kitsch. Growing up in Moscow, Regina learned how to play the piano by practicing on a Petrof upright that her grandfather gave her mother. She grew up listening to classical music and famous Russian bards like Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava. Her father, who obtained recordings in Eastern Europe and traded cassettes with friends in the Soviet Union, also exposed her to rock and roll bands such as the Beatles, Queen, and the Moody Blues...
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