Sara Beth Bareilles (/bəˈrɛlɪs/ bə-rel-is; born December 7, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the hit single “Love Song”, which brought her into the number one spot on the Billboard Pop 100 chart. She has sold over 1 million records and over 4 million singles in the United States alone and has been nominated for a Grammy Award three times. In the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, Bareilles was a celebrity judge alongside Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men. In February 2012, VH1 placed Bareilles in the 80th spot of the Top 100 Greatest Women in Music.
Bareilles was born and raised in Eureka, California, one of three daughters of Bonnie Halvorsen (née Capellas), a funeral home worker, and Paul Bareilles, an insurance adjuster. She is of Italian, German, Portuguese, and French descent (she speaks Italian and lived in Italy for a year). Bareilles was raised Catholic and participated in the high school choir, Limited Edition, and local community theater musical productions, including her high school’s production of Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey.
Bareilles attended the Communication Studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was a member of the co-ed a cappella group Awaken a Cappella, and can be heard on their Dysfunktional Family album singing “Gravity” and “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5. The group’s rendition of Bareilles’ “Gravity” was featured on the Best of College a Cappella 2004 compilation CD. Bareilles also stated on MTV’s TRL that she and the band Maroon 5 have been acquainted since their younger days in California when the band was known as Kara’s Flowers. She performed in the annual student concert UCLA Spring Sing, winning twice. Sara taught herself to play the piano and subsequently all other instrument she is seen playing.