Catterfeld was born in Erfurt, Thuringia on December 2, 1979. At the age of 15 she started playing the piano and the flute, simultaneously taking first dance and vocal lessons. After her high school graduation she studied Pop and Jazz at the music academy in Leipzig for two years. In 1998 she released her first recordings under the stage name KIV. After her studies Yvonne participated in the singing contest Stimme 2000 (briefly performing under the name Vivianne), where she met manager and later BMG boss Thomas Stein, who offered her a contract with the sub-label Hansa Music.