Regina Ilyinichna Spektor (Russian: Реги́нa Ильи́нична Спе́ктор, IPA: [rʲɪˈɡʲinə ˈspʲɛktər]; /rɨˈdʒiːnə ˈspɛktər/; 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.