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right|thumb|190px|Suzanne Vega Suzanne Nadine Vega (born July 11, 1959) is an American songwriter and singer known for her poetic lyrics and eclectic folk-inspired music.
Suzanne Vega was born in Santa Monica, California, but, at the age of two and a half moved with her mother (a computer systems analyst) and her stepfather (a writer from Puerto Rico) to New York City, where she grew up in a socially problematic area (Spanish Harlem and the Upper West Side). At the age of nine she began to write poems; she wrote her first song at age 14. Later she attended the New York City High School of the Performing Arts (the school seen in the feature film musical Fame), where she studied modern dance.
While majoring in English literature at Columbia University's Barnard College, she performed in small venues in Greenwich Village, where she was a regular contributor to the Monday night songwriters group at the Cornelia Street Cafe. In 1984, she received a major label record contract.