Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Suzanne Vega has given voice to the inner life of her many listeners since her eponymous debut album was released in 1985. She has sold more than 7 million albums, has been nominated for seven Grammy awards (winning two), and continues to tour the world. Her latest series of albums, the Close-Up Series Vols. 1-4, is garnering rave reviews.
More than a musician, Vega has championed technological advances in the music business, such as the MP3 and Second Life. (In 2006, she became the first major recording artist to perform live in avatar form within the virtual world Second Life.) She has paved the way for women in music, headlining the very first Lilith Fair.
Vega is the author of The Passionate Eye: The Collected Writings Of Suzanne Vega. Her play, Carson McCullers Talks About Love (with songs cowritten with Duncan Sheik) premiered in 2011. She also has dedicated much of her time to charitable causes, notably Amnesty International, Casa Alianza, and the Save Darfur Coalition.
Early in her musical career, Vega was receptionist by day while playing at the Greenwich Village Songwriter’s Exchange by night. Soon she was performing at iconic venues like The Bottom Line and Folk City. But Vega’s first demo tape was rejected by every major record company, twice by the very label that eventually signed her: A&M Records, which was expecting to sell 30,000 albums. But 1,000,000 albums were sold. Rolling Stone magazine included the record in their “100 Greatest Recordings of the 1980s.” A string of popular albums followed, including Solitude Standing, Days of Open Hand, Nine Objects of Desire, and Songs in Red and Gray.