Amy Lee

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For the saxophonist, see Amy Lee (saxophonist).
Amy Lee
AmyLee2003BillboardAwards.jpg
Lee at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards
Born Amy Lynn Lee
(1981-12-13) December 13, 1981 (age 33)
Riverside, California, U.S.
Other names Amy Hartzler
Occupation
Spouse(s) Josh Hartzler (m. 2007)
Children 1
Musical career
Genres Alternative metal
Instruments Vocals, piano, organ,[1] harp[2]
Years active 1995–present
Labels Epic, Wind-up, EMI
Associated acts Evanescence, Dave Eggar
Website www.amyleeofficial.com
www.evanescence.com

Amy Lynn Hartzler (née Lee; born December 13, 1981), known professionally as Amy Lee, is an American singer-songwriter and classically trained pianist. She is co-founder and lead vocalist of the rock band Evanescence. She cites influences ranging from composers such as Mozart and Danny Elfman,[3] to contemporary artists Björk, Tori Amos,[3] Plumb[4] and Shirley Manson.[5] Along with her contributions to Evanescence, Lee has also participated on numerous other musical projects including Walt Disney Records' Nightmare Revisited and Muppets: The Green Album. Lee has performed collaborations with artists such as Korn, Seether, and David Hodges. Lee is also the American chairperson for the international epilepsy awareness foundation, Out of the Shadows.[6] Revolver Magazine named Lee the #1 Hottest Chick in Hard Rock for their 2011 annual issue and she appeared on the front cover.[7][8] In February 2012, VH1 placed Amy Lee at #49 in the Top 100 Greatest Women in Music.[9] In April 2012, Lee won the Best Vocalist honor at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards.[10] In 2013, Amy Lee was named the 2012 Rock Goddess of the Year in the Loudwire Music Awards[11] and the Hottest Woman in Music 2013 in the NME Awards.[12]

Early life and education[edit]

Amy Lee was born in Riverside, California to parents John Lee, a disc jockey and TV personality, and Sara Cargill. She has a brother named Robby and two sisters, Carrie and Lori. Lee had a younger sister who died in 1987 at the age of three from an unidentified illness.[13] The song "Hello" from Fallen has been reported to have been written for her late sister, as well as the song "Like You" from The Open Door.[14] Lee took classical piano lessons for nine years.

Her family moved to many places, including West Palm Beach, Florida[15] and Rockford, Illinois,[16] and eventually settled in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Evanescence started. Lee graduated from Pulaski Academy, a private school in Little Rock, in 2000.[17] She briefly attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro to study music theory and composition in 2000 but dropped out to focus on Evanescence.[18]

In an interview on AOL Music, Lee said that the first songs she remembered writing were called "Eternity of the Remorse" and "A Single Tear". The first was written when she was eleven years old and wanted to become a classical composer, and the second was for an assignment when she was in the eighth grade.[19]

Career[edit]

Evanescence[edit]

Main article: Evanescence

Founding[edit]

Lee performing during a concert in 2011

Lee co-founded the rock band Evanescence with guitarist Ben Moody. The two met at a youth camp after Moody heard Lee playing Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" on the piano.[20] Within a month, the pair were playing acoustic sets at Arkansas book stores and coffee houses,[21] and they eventually recorded two EPs, Evanescence EP (1998) and Sound Asleep EP (1999), selling them at various local venues. In 2000, Evanescence recorded the longer EP Origin. This demo contains three songs from the debut album Fallen and was written by Lee and Moody: "Whisper", "Imaginary" and "My Immortal". Whereas "Whisper" and "Imaginary" were altered before being included on Fallen, "My Immortal" is virtually unchanged, apart from additional string arrangements. A later band version of "My Immortal" was made available for download for those who had bought an official version of Fallen through their web site, but required that a CD checker program also be downloaded for verification before it would play.[22] The band version was included on later copies of Fallen, notably the Brazilian, Bolivian, and Argentine editions.

On October 22, 2003, Moody left the band citing "creative differences". In an interview several months later, Amy said: "...we'd gotten to a point that if something didn't change, we wouldn't have been able to make a second record". She also said "We're finally a real band, not just Ben and I and a few others thrown together".[21] Ex-Cold guitarist Terry Balsamo replaced Moody in the band, both on guitar and as Lee's writing partner.

Appearance[edit]

Lee at the 2007 Scream Awards

Lee has a recognizable fashion style, marked by her occasional use of gothic make-up and taste for Victorian-styled clothing.[23] She also designs many of her own clothes, including those worn in the music video for "Going Under", and the dress worn for the cover of The Open Door and the dress she wore to the Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2011. After she designed the dress she wore at the 2004 Grammy Awards, she chose Japanese designer H. Naoto to make it for her.[24] She at one point had a piercing on her left eyebrow, which is visible on the cover of Fallen.

In an interview with VEVO stylized, Lee showcased and explained her fashion style, commenting that she'd rather make her own clothes because it's hard to find what she exactly wants elsewhere.[25] In an interview with AOL, Lee stated that her daily style is very different from when she performs; pointing out that she was wearing "something flowery" during the interview. She explained that her on-stage wardrobe was meant to preserve the atmosphere of the songs and complete the image. In another interview, she stated that when the band first started performing, she would wear corsets to avoid diluting the band's public image, but has gradually become more comfortable with her own style. Her current on-stage style is often characterized by boots, a simple black tank top, a long skirt and various ornaments and accessories.[citation needed]

Lee has stated on a number of occasions that she would never flash her breasts or engage in other publicity stunts that would draw attention to herself. Further, in the music video for "Everybody's Fool", she aimed to mock such artists by suggesting that celebrities who use sex to appeal to an audience are, in fact, merely peddling "lies" (the unifying theme of the music video). Many fans praise Lee for her refusal to emulate other celebrities by using sex appeal in her music.[26]

In 2006, Blender listed Lee as one of the hottest women in rock alongside such singers as Joan Jett, Courtney Love and Liz Phair.[27] In 2013, Lee ranked first in NME.com's "Hottest Women in Music" award.[12]

Solo album[edit]

During an October 2008 interview for Spin.com, Lee noted that she was writing new songs, possibly for a solo album project. Citing influences in folk and Celtic music, she says her current writings feel like she is going back to her "really old" roots. She gave no potential release date, but said of her reason for this new direction, "I need to show that I'm more than a one trick pony."[28]

Lee stated during an October 2008 interview with The Gauntlet that she did not know whether or not she would begin a solo career, saying that she was "at a point where I don't know what is next." She noted that Evanescence was still together as a band but that she found touring to be monotonous. She reiterated that she was continuing to write songs, although she did not yet know what purpose they would serve.[29] In a Spin interview in March 2010, Lee stated that she was "in a very different creative space then" regarding her previous work on new material, and that while she wrote some songs that were good, nothing from those efforts would be included in the band's album Evanescence,[30] which was released on October 11, 2011.[31]

On January 8, 2014, it was announced that Lee would team with American composer Dave Eggar to create music for the American drama film War Story. During an interview with MTV, Lee explained, "It's going to surprise my fans. It's not what you'd expect; the film is very dark, very introspective. There's not even a lot of dialogue, which is great, because to me it makes this beautiful, sad platform for music," and that "there's a lot of blending of sounds, a lot of ominous tones. I play a lot of keyboard, and a lot of Taurus pedal. There's a lot of low drones." Lee also revealed that she penned one song for the film titled "Push the Button", explaining, "It's very different for me, it's electronic; I did it all myself, which was crazy, because I'm used to engineering and writing and mixing demos in my house, but being responsible for that being the end product was a new challenge for me. It was like 'This is it, I'm mixing this.'"[32] On August 6, Lee announced that the soundtrack album would be called Aftermath and that it would be released on August 25. Lee contributes to all ten tracks, which features Eggar on eight of them and American/Moroccan musician Malika Zarra on one.[33] Lee revealed a 36-second teaser of the album on the same day.[34] It is her first full-length solo album to not involve her band Evanescence.

Other projects[edit]

Lee in São Paulo, Brazil, during 2007

In 2000, Lee sang on two of former Evanescence keyboardist David Hodges' songs: "Breathe" (The Summit Church: Summit Worship) and the unreleased "Fall Into You".[35] She performed backup vocals for "Missing You", a song on Big Dismal's 2003 debut album Believe, and sang backup vocals on two songs with 'supergroup' The Damning Well, though her vocals were taken off the final release due to record label issues.[36] Lee later performed a duet with her then-boyfriend Shaun Morgan on the track "Broken" for Seether's 2004 album Disclaimer II. The song was also featured as part of the soundtrack for the 2004 film The Punisher.

In 2004, Lee claimed to be working on music for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but that the music was rejected by the studio for being "too dark." However, the producers of Narnia stated that Lee was never asked to compose any music for the film, whose score was written by Harry Gregson-Williams, and that "No Evanescence music was planned for the soundtrack."[37][38] While there was some speculation that one of the supposed songs had been cut and used in several tracks of The Open Door, Lee stated this was not true except for part of it being used to segue into the last track of the album, "Good Enough".[39]

Lee became the American chairperson for Out of the Shadows in 2006. This organization is an international foundation with the goal of providing education about epilepsy. Lee's younger brother, Robby, was previously diagnosed with this condition.[6] The singer also made a brief guest appearance in the music video for Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down" in late 2006.[40] As each celebrity featured in the shoot was allowed to choose what they would be doing for the video, Lee chose to appear laying flowers on a grave. Her scene was recorded at Trinity Church in Manhattan, during which she wore a black velvet coat that previously belonged to Tim Burton.[41]

In February 2007, MTV released MTV Unplugged: Korn to television and radio, in which Lee is featured during the song "Freak on a Leash".[42] The song was also released as the first single from the album. In November 2007, VH1 produced a mockumentary in the style of Behind the Music, titled Rock Band Cometh: The Rock Band Band Story, to promote the video game Rock Band. Lee was one of the celebrity cameos featured on the show.[43]

In June 2008, the National Music Publishers Association presented Lee with their 2008 Songwriter Icon Award, which "recognizes outstanding songwriters for their personal achievement."[44]

For Walt Disney Records' September 2008 release of Nightmare Revisited, Lee sang a remake of "Sally's Song". The album contains new material and covers of songs from the original Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack.[45][46] Lee performed live renditions of "Sally's Song" during the October 17 Nightmare Before Christmas re-release premiere in Hollywood, and for an October 13 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.[47] In 2011, Lee covered "Halfway Down the Stairs" for Muppets•The Green Album,[48] and in 2012 covered "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" for the tribute album We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash.[49]

Personal life[edit]

Lee was in a relationship with Seether singer Shaun Morgan from 2003 to 2005.[50] Lee wrote a song, "Call Me When You're Sober", about him; it was released as the first single from The Open Door.[51]

Engagement and marriage[edit]

Lee revealed during the live broadcast of MuchMusic's January 9, 2007, episode of Live at Much that she had become engaged the prior evening. She later confirmed on EvThreads.com that Josh Hartzler, a therapist and long-time friend, proposed to her.[52][53][54][55] She noted in an interview that the songs "Good Enough" and "Bring Me to Life" were inspired by him.[41] The couple married on May 6, 2007, and honeymooned near The Bahamas.[56] She posted on EvThreads that she is "now officially Mrs. Amy Hartzler."

Lee announced via social media on January 18, 2014, that she was pregnant.[57] The couple's first child, Jack Lion Hartzler, was born on July 28, 2014.[58][59]

Lawsuit against Wind-Up Records[edit]

On January 3, 2014, TMZ reported that Lee had sued Evanescence's label, Wind-up Records, for $1.5 million in unpaid royalties.[60][61] In March 2014, via her Twitter account, Lee announced that she and Evanescence had been released from their record label and were independent artists.[62]

Discography[edit]

Lee on stage in 2007

Evanescence[edit]

Collaborations and other songs[edit]

Year Artist Song Release
2000 David Hodges feat. Amy Lee "Breathe" The Summit Church: Summit Worship
2003 Big Dismal feat. Amy Lee "Missing You" Believe
2004 Seether feat. Amy Lee "Broken" Disclaimer II
The Punisher: The Album
2007 Korn feat. Amy Lee "Freak on a Leash" MTV Unplugged: Korn
2008 Amy Lee "Sally's Song" Nightmare Revisited
2011 "Halfway Down the Stairs" Muppets: The Green Album
2012 "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" We Walk The Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash

Film scores[edit]

Appearances by Lee as a composer:

Year Film Directed by Album Notes
2014 War Story Mark Jackson Aftermath Featuring composer Dave Eggar[63]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lee, Amy (November 16, 2009). "AmyLeeEV: @MISSCRAZY91 Piano and organ". Twitter.com. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ Lee, Amy; Leno, Jay (October 13, 2008). The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Television production). Burbank, California: NBC/Universal. 
  3. ^ a b "Interview with Evanescence singer Amy Lee". gURL.com. Archived from the original on November 4, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006. 
  4. ^ Farias, Andree (April 10, 2006). "Pre-Evanescence". Christianity Today (Christianity Today International). Archived from the original on November 11, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006. 
  5. ^ Lee, Amy (22 April 2012). "Met one of my idols today...". Twitter.com. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Why Epilepsy?". OutoftheShadows.com. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006. 
  7. ^ Geist, Brandon (October 11, 2011). "2011 Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock Issue on Newsstands Everywhere Now!". Revolver. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Amy Lee Tops Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock Poll". Starpulse.com. October 11, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ Graham, Mark (February 13, 2012). "VH1's 100 Greatest Women In Music". VH1.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. 
  10. ^ Hartmann, Graham (April 12, 2012). "Evanescence's Amy Lee Wins Best Vocalist at 2012 Revolver Golden Gods". Loudwire. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  11. ^ Kaufman, Spencer (January 16, 2013). "Evanescence Singer Amy Lee Wins Rock Goddess of the Year in the 2012 Loudwire Music Awards". Loudwire. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "NME Awards 2013 - as it happened". NME. February 27, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  13. ^ Odell, Michael (April 2004). "Survivor!". Blender magazine. Retrieved October 18, 2006. [dead link]
  14. ^ Bottomley, C. (September 18, 2006). "Evanescence: Amy Lee Explains the New Songs". VH1.com. Archived from the original on October 28, 2007. Retrieved October 8, 2006. 
  15. ^ Passy, Charles (July 23, 2004). "Home visit brings her to life". The Indianapolis Star via EvBoard.com. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
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  17. ^ "Amy Lee '00". Pulaskiacademy.org. 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  18. ^ Morse, Steve (May 23, 2003). "Evanescence is No Disappearing Act". The Boston Globe. 
  19. ^ Robertson, Jessica (October 19, 2007). "P's & Q's: Amy Lee Finds Solace in Marriage and Music". AOL.com. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved October 19, 2007. 
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  26. ^ Moss, Corey (June 10, 2004). "Evanescence's Amy Lee Hopes To Get Into Film, Rages Against Cheesy Female Idols". MTV News via VH1.com. Archived from the original on June 23, 2004. Retrieved November 7, 2006. 
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  29. ^ Fisher, Jason (October 23, 2008). "Evanescence Interview". TheGauntlet.com. Archived from the original on November 1, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2008. 
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  32. ^ Childers, Chad (January 8, 2014). "Evanescence Singer Amy Lee Mum on Lawsuit, Turns Attention to Film Scoring". Loudwire.com. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  33. ^ Childers, Chad (August 6, 2014). "Evanescence's Amy Lee Teases 'Aftermath' Disc Featuring Music Inspired by 'War Story' Movie". Loudwire.com. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
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  35. ^ "Discography / Lyrics / Audio Clips". DavidHodges.info. Archived from the original on October 13, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006. 
  36. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (August 13, 2003). "Borland, Bowie, Maynard James Keenan Ready To Unveil Hush-Hush Project". MTV News. Retrieved March 8, 2007. 
  37. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (November 18, 2004). "Evanescence's New Sound Is Reminiscent Of ... Evanescence". MTV News. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
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  39. ^ Lee, Amy (July 13, 2006). "Discussion of The Open Door album". EvBoard.com. Retrieved August 9, 2007. 
  40. ^ Kaufman, Gil (November 17, 2006). "Timberlake's Brainstorm: Johnny Cash Video With Kanye, Jigga, Depp, Others". MTV News via VH1.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2006. Retrieved November 30, 2006. 
  41. ^ a b Eells, Josh (October 2006). "Amy Lee: Back in Black". Blender. Archived from the original on September 5, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  42. ^ Harris, Chris (December 13, 2006). "Korn Quiet Down With The Cure, Amy Lee For 'MTV Unplugged'". MTV.com. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. 
  43. ^ "Megadeth's Mustaine, Evanescence's Lee Featured In 'Rock Band Commeth' Mockumentary". Blabbermouth.net. November 7, 2007. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007. 
  44. ^ Butler, Susan (June 10, 2008). "NMPA Honors Amy Lee, Sen. Leahy". Billboard.biz. Archived from the original on August 22, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 
  45. ^ Donahue, Ann (August 5, 2008). "Elfman, Korn, Plain White T's Revisit 'Nightmare'". Billboard.biz. Archived from the original on August 11, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2008. 
  46. ^ "Jonathan Davis, Marilyn Manson, and Amy Lee Featured on "Nightmare Before Christmas" CD". RevolverMag.com. August 8, 2008. Archived from the original on August 24, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2008. 
  47. ^ "Evanescence Singer To Perform At 'Nightmare Before Christmas' Opening". Blabbermouth.net. October 10, 2008. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  48. ^ "Weezer, Paramore, Evanescence for Muppets tribute album". NME. June 27, 2011. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  49. ^ "'We Walk The Line: A Celebration Of The Music Of Johnny Cash' CD/DVD Coming August 7th". Johnnycashonline.com. 2012. Archived from the original on December 29, 2012. 
  50. ^ "Amy Lee - Amy Lee Reunites With Mclawhorn As New Evanescence Takes Shape". Contactmusic.com. June 14, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  51. ^ "Evanescence Feeling No Pressure On New Album". Billboard. August 28, 2006. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  52. ^ Lee, Amy (January 9, 2007). "Amy's Engaged!: *clink clink* *ahem...*". EvThreads.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  53. ^ Hill, Jack W. (January 19, 2012). "Amy Lee, band a far piece from evaporating". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. p. 33. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  54. ^ Rubin, Courtney (May 10, 2007). "Evanescence Singer Amy Lee Gets Married". People.com. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  55. ^ Roberts, Michael (November 21, 2007). "Q&A With Evanescence's Amy Lee". Westword. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  56. ^ Rubin, Courtney (May 10, 2007). "Evanescence Singer Amy Lee Gets Married". People. Retrieved May 10, 2007. 
  57. ^ Childers, Chad (January 21, 2014). "Evanescence Frontwoman Amy Lee is Pregnant". Loudwire. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  58. ^ Kaufman, Spencer (July 28, 2014). "Evanescence's Amy Lee Gives Birth to Baby Boy". Loudwire. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  59. ^ Parker, Heidi (July 28, 2014). "It's a boy! Evanescence singer Amy Lee announces she's given birth to son Jack Lion by sharing tender Instagram photo". Daily Mail. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  60. ^ "'Evanescence' Singer Sues - Our Very Own Label is Our Worst Enemy". TMZ.com. January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  61. ^ Hartmann, Graham (January 3, 2014). "Evanescence Singer Amy Lee Reportedly Suing Record Label for More Than $1 Million". Loudwire.com. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  62. ^ Hartmann, Graham (March 20, 2014). "Evanescence's Amy Lee: 'For the First Time in 13 Years, I Am a Free and Independent Artist'". Loudwire.com. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  63. ^ Montgomery, James (January 8, 2014). "Evanescence's Amy Lee Is Making Music Again ... Just Not For Her Band". MTV News. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]