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Ryan Benjamin Tedder was born on June 26, 1979 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was raised by an extended family of missionaries and pastors in a Christian church. He began learning to play the piano at the age of three via the Suzuki method. His early interest in music was prompted by his musician father and school-teacher mother, who coaxed their young son into practicing piano in exchange for candy corn. Tedder started singing at the age of seven. A self-taught vocalist, Tedder began honing this skill at the age of twelve by imitating his favorite artists, who ranged from The Beatles to other acts like Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder and Sting. He has commented, “I sang for two hours a day every day of my life until I was eighteen.” He continued to perform musically during his adolescence through church, school, and personally formed groups.

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