Janis Ian (born Janis Eddy Fink, April 7, 1951) is an American songwriter, singer, musician, columnist, and science fiction author. Ian first entered the folk music scene while still a teenager in the mid-sixties; most active musically in that decade and the 1970s, she has continued recording into the 21st century. In 1975, Ian won a Grammy Award for her song, "At Seventeen".
Born to a Jewish family in New York City, she was primarily raised in New Jersey, initially on a farm, and attended East Orange High School and the New York City High School of Music & Art. Her parents, Victor (a music teacher) and Pearl, ran a summer camp in upstate New York, and, in that Cold War era, were frequently under government surveillance because of their left-wing politics. (Ian would allude to these years later in her song "God and the FBI"). Young Janis admired the work of folk pioneers such as Joan Baez and Odetta. Starting with piano lessons at the age of 6 or 7, by the time she hit her teens, Ian had learned the organ, harpsichord, French horn, flute and guitar. At the age of twelve, Ian wrote her first song, "Hair of Spun Gold," which was subsequently published in the folk publication...