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Alecia Beth Moore was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania to Vietnam veteran James Moore and nurse Judy Kugel. She is of Jewish ancestry on her mother's side, and is Irish, German and Lithuanian on her father's. Moore has identified herself as Jewish. She grew up in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where she attended Central Bucks West High School. Her father played guitar and sang songs for her, and from an early age she aspired to be a rock star. While in high school, Moore joined her first "official" band, Middle Ground, but the band never took off. According to Moore, her biggest influences are Janis Joplin, Steven Tyler, Bad Religion, Mary J. Blige, Bob Marley, Billy Joel, Indigo Girls, Don McLean, 2Pac, and The Notorious B.I.G..