Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amy Lee

Amy Lynn Hartzler (née Lee; born December 13, 1981), best known as Amy Lee, is an American singer-songwriter and classically-trained pianist. She is co-founder and lead vocalist of the alternative metal band Evanescence. Her influences range from classical musicians such as Mozart to modern artists like Björk, Tori Amos, Danny Elfman,and Plumb.


Early life

Amy Lee was born to parents John Lee, a disc jockey and TV personality, and Sara Cargill. She has one brother, Robby, and two sisters, Carrie and Lori. Lee had a third sister, who died in 1987 at the age of three from an unidentified illness. 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 with the lyrics, "I long to be like you, sis; Lie cold in the ground like you did," also hinting at the death of her sister and her grief for it.Lee took classical piano lessons for nine years. Her family moved to many places, including Florida and Illinois,but eventually settled in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Evanescence started. She graduated from Pulaski Academy in 2000 and also briefly attended Middle Tennessee State University.

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.

Engagement and marriage

Lee revealed during the taping of MuchMusic's January 9, 2007 episode of Live @ Much that she had become engaged the previous evening. She later confirmed on that she had been proposed to by Josh Hartzler, a 29-year-old therapist and long-time friend.She noted in an interview that the songs "Good Enough" and "Bring Me To Life" were inspired by him.The couple were married on May 6, 2007, and honeymooned near The Bahamas.She has posted on EvThreads that she is "now officially Mrs. Amy Hartzler."



She co-founded the band with Ben Moody. The two met at a youth camp after he heard Lee playing Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" on the piano.[11] Within a month, the pair were playing acoustic sets at Arkansas book stores and coffee houses,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" underwent further modifications before being included on Fallen, "My Immortal" is virtually unchanged. 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.The band version was included on later copies of Fallen, notably the Brazilian, Bolivian, and Argentine editions.

Departure of Ben Moody

On October 22, 2003, guitarist Ben 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".[12] Ex-Cold guitarist Terry Balsamo replaced Moody in the band, both on guitar and as Lee's writing partner.


On December 1, 2005, former Evanescence manager Dennis Rider filed a US$10 million lawsuit against Lee for breach of contract. The suit claims Rider was prematurely and unjustly terminated from his position as manager of Evanescence, just one album into a three-record deal.

In return, Lee filed a counter-suit against Rider for "'breach of fiduciary duty,' sexual assault and battery, professional negligence and currency conversion, among other claims." The suit also claims Rider "neglected Lee's career and business and has focused his efforts on having extramarital affairs, hiding them from his wife, becoming intoxicated during business meetings, physically abusing women and boasting about it, making repeated unwelcome sexual advances toward Lee, receiving fees in excess of what was provided for in his management agreement and using Lee's corporate credit card to purchase gifts for his mistress."

Rider's attorney, Bert Deixler, claimed in a statement that since Rider became the group's manager in 2002, he had fully performed all of the duties and obligations owed by the firm under the management agreement, and that he had always conducted himself by the highest professional standards.

Solo album

During an October 2008 interview for, 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 release date or any further information. For the reason behind this new direction, Lee states, "I need to show that I'm more than a one trick pony.'s nothing I would categorize as Evanescence."

Nevertheless, in an interview with The Gauntlet on October 23, 2008, Lee stated 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 guitarist Terry Balsamo and bassist Tim McCord are still with the band, but that she found touring to be monotonous. She reiterated that she was currently writing songs, just that she did not know for what purpose they would serve.


Lee has a recognizable fashion style, marked by her occasional use of Gothic make-up and taste for Victorian-styled clothing.She also designs many of her own clothes, including those worn in the music video for "Going Under", the dress she wore at the 2004 Grammy awards, and the dress worn for the cover of The Open Door. After she designed it she chose Japanese designer H. Naoto to make it for her.In concerts, she often wears a corset and fishnets, as well as long skirts and knee-high boots. She at one point had a piercing on her left eyebrow, which is visible on the cover of Fallen.

She 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. In fact, 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.

In 2006, Blender listed Lee as one of the hottest women in rock alongside such singers as Joan Jett, Courtney Love and Liz Phair.


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