Childhood & Early Life
Amy Lee was born to John Lee, a disc jockey and Sara Cargill. Her siblings include brother, Robby, and two sisters, Carrie and Lori. She lost a younger sister, Lee, to an unidentified disease.
Her family moved from California to Florida and then to Illinois and finally settled down in Arkansas. She showed keen interest in piano since childhood and aspired to become a classical composer.
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Amy Lee was studying music at the ‘Middle Tennessee State University’ but discontinued the course after meeting Ben Moody, a lead guitarist, at a youth camp, to form ‘Evanescence’ in 1995.
‘Evanescence’ played on local radio stations until they released limited copies of two Extended Plays between 1998 and 1999, the first was self-titled, ‘Evanescence EP’, and the second, the ‘Sound Asleep EP’.
In 2000, the band recorded, ‘EP Origin’, with songs such as ‘Whisper’, ‘Imaginary’ and ‘My Immortal’. These songs, penned by band’s founders, were included in a later album because of their popularity.
Lee sang two songs as guest vocalist in the year 2000 for ‘Evanescence’ keyboardist David Hodge—‘Breathe’ and, ‘Fall Into You’. However, ‘Fall Into You’, was not released.
She provided the vocal support for, ‘Missing You’, a song by ‘Big Dismal’, a Florida based post-grunge Christian Rock band featuring Eric Durrance, Chuck Shea, Gary Sobel and Jeff Chomin, in 2003.
She sang backup vocals for two songs for the rock super group, ‘The Damning Well’, in 2003. Of the two songs, ‘Awakening’, was released as ‘Underworld’ movie sound track while ‘Power’, was not released at all.
In 2004, she performed a duet that was featured as the soundtrack of the film, ‘The Punisher’, with Shaun Morgan, for the album, ‘Disclaimer II’, released by the South African post-grunge music group, ‘Seether’.
She made a cameo appearance in a music video for Johnny Cash's, ‘God's Gonna Cut You Down’, in 2006. In the scene recorded at ‘Trinity Church’, Manhattan, she appears laying flowers on a grave.
She performed a duet with Jonathan Davis of the nu metal band ‘Korn’. The song, ‘Freak on Leash’, featured at the MTV studios in New York City for the band’s acoustic set in 2006.
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She recorded a remake of ‘Sally’s Song’, in Walt Disney‘s ‘Nightmare Revisited’, in 2008. She offered live performance of the song during the movie premiere in Hollywood, and on Jay Leno’s, ‘The Good Night Show’.
In 2011, her band released their self-titled album, ‘Evanescence’. It was the band’s biggest project so far. It was first released in Europe, and five days later in the U.S.
In 2012, she recorded ‘I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry’ for the tribute album ‘We Walk The Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash’.
‘Fallen’, released in 2004, was the first album of ‘Evanescence’ - Amy Lee’s band. It has sold well over 15 million copies worldwide and about five and half million in the US alone.
Her band released their second album, ‘The Open Door’, in 2006, which sold 5 million copies worldwide, debuted at NO.1 in the U.S, Australia, Germany, Greece, Japan, and Switzerland and did well in other parts of Europe as well.
Awards & Achievements
At the 2004 Grammys, Amy Lee and her band were nominated in five categories, and won in two – the ‘Best New Artist’ and the ‘Best Hard Rock Performance’ for the song, ‘Bring Me to Life’.
In 2007, she was declared the ‘Sexiest Female’ at the ‘Kerrang! Awards’ show held in the U.K while her band’s album, ‘The Open Door’, won the MTV Australia ‘Album of the Year Award’.
She won the ‘Songwriter Icon Award’ from the ‘National Music Publishers Association’ in 2008. NMPA is a trade association for the American music publishing industry and has over 2500 members.
Nominated in five different categories at the 2011 ‘Loudwire Music Awards’, ‘Evanescence’ won the ‘Best Rock Song of the Year’ for the song, ‘What You Want’, and the ‘Comeback of the Year’.
In 2012, she was voted, ‘The Rock Goddess of the Year’, at the ‘Loudwire Music Awards’ and also won the ‘Revolver Golden Gods Award’ for the ‘Best Vocalist’, the same year.
Personal Life & Legacy
Amy Lee dated Shaun Morgan, a musician with the band Seether, and was later engaged to Ben Moody. But she eventually married Josh Hartzler, a therapist and long time friend, in 2007.
The singer has an estimated worth of $245 million, owns the Fat Lee Burger chain of restaurants, a football team, the Riverside Angels, and a fashion line Amy Lee Seduction.
The song, ‘Hello’, from the album, ‘Fallen’, was dedicated by this singer to the memory of a younger sister who died of an unidentified disease when she was only three.
This famous singer once declared: ‘music is therapy for me. It's my outlet for every negative thing I've ever been through. It lets me turn something bad into something beautiful’.