Suzanne Nadine Vega (born 11 July 1959 in Santa Monica, California) is an American songwriter and singer known for her highly literate lyrics and eclectic folk-inspired music. Record companies saw little prospect of commercial success in the beginning; Vega’s demo tape was rejected by every major record company—twice by A&M. In 1984 she was finally signed by A&M, and she is now a Grammy nominated artist. Two songs of Vega’s (from her second album – Solitude Standing 1987) that were very popular are „Luka” and „Tom’s Diner.” The latter has been interpolated into many recordings by various artists.
Vega’s mother, Pat Vega, is a computer systems analyst of German-Swedish heritage. Her father, Richard Peck, is of Scottish-English-Irish extraction and works in graphics. Her stepfather, Ed Vega, is a writer and teacher from Puerto Rico.
When Vega was two and a half, the family moved to New York City. She grew up in Spanish Harlem and the Upper West Side. At the age of nine she began to write poems; she wrote her first song at age fourteen. Later she attended New York’s prestigious High School of Performing Arts, now on Amsterdam Avenue between 65th & 66th Street in Manhattan. (This school was seen in the film musical Fame). There she studied modern dance and graduated in 1977.
Vega’s debut album, Suzanne Vega, was released in 1985 and was well received by criticsin the U.S.; it reached platinum status in the United Kingdom. Produced by Lenny Kaye, Steve Addabbo and Steven Miller, the songs feature Vega’s acoustic guitar in straightforward arrangements.
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