"Eric Howard Carmen" (born August 11, 1949, in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist.
Carmen had been obsessed with music since early childhood. At the age of 2, he was entertaining his parents, Ruth and Elmer Carmen, with impressions of Tony Bennett and Johnnie Ray. By 3, he was in the Dalcroze Eurythmics program at the Cleveland Institute of Music. At 6, he took violin lessons from Muriel Carmen, then a violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra.
Carmen grew up in Lyndhurst, Ohio. By age 11, he was playing piano and dreaming about writing his own songs. The arrival of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones altered his dream slightly. By the time he was a sophomore at Charles F. Brush High School, Eric Carmen was playing piano and singing in rock 'n' roll bands.
Classically trained, he became a self-taught guitarist. At 15, he started to take guitar lessons, but since the teacher's approach did not fit with what he wanted, he decided to teach himself. He bought a Beatles chord book and taught himself to play guitar for the next four months.