thumb|Ben Folds Five's self-titled debut album Ben Folds Five (1994–2000) was a three-member band formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina who were a mainstay of piano rock until their breakup in 2000. Much of their work was influenced by jazz, evident in frequent improv-styled passages through bridge and/or ending.
Ben Folds was lead singer, pianist, and main composer; Robert Sledge played bass, and Darren Jessee played drums and co-wrote some of the songs. Sledge and Jessee also delivered backup vocals. Their first radio single was "Underground" from their self-titled debut album, but their biggest success was the single "Brick" from their second album in 1998, a ballad which Folds later revealed was written about an experience with a high school girlfriend having an abortion.
After the band's reportedly amicable breakup in October 2000, Folds began a moderately successful solo career, Robert Sledge took up singing and bass playing duties with International Orange (which broke up in 2005), and Darren Jessee now fronts the band Hotel Lights.