- “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.”
- ―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 rock band Evanescence. She cites influences ranging from classical musicians such as Mozart to modern artists Björk, Tori Amos, Danny Elfman and Plumb. Along with her contributions to Evanescence, Lee has also participated on numerous other musical projects including Walt Disney Records' 2008 release of The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack ("Sally's Song"). Lee has performed collaborations with artists such as Korn ("Freak On A Leash"), Seether ("Broken"), and David Hodges. Lee is also the American chairperson for the international epilepsy awareness foundation, Out of the Shadows. Revolver Magazine named Lee the #1 Hottest Chick in Hard Rock for their 2011 annual issue and she appeared on the front cover.
Amy Lee was born 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 named Bonnie 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. Amy took classical piano lessons for nine years. Her family moved to many places, including Florida and Illinois, and eventually settled in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Evanescence started. She briefly attended Middle Tennessee State University to study music theory and composition and later dropped out to focus on Evanescence.
In an interview on AOL 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 live broadcast of MuchMusic's January 9, 2007, episode of Live @ 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. She noted in an interview that the songs Good Enough and Bring Me To Life were inspired by him. The couple married on May 6, 2007, and honeymooned near The Bahamas. She has posted on EvThreads that she is "now officially Mrs. Amy Hartzler."
Amy co-founded the rock band Evanescence with guitarist Ben Moody. Apparently, the two met at a youth camp after Moody heard Lee playing Meat_Loaf Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" on the piano. While this rumor went around for a very long time and everyone believed it, Amy later on claimed that it wasn't true and that she "never played a song by Meat Loaf" and "never will".
Within a month, the pair were playing acoustic sets at Arkansas book stores and coffee houses, and they eventually recorded two EP's, Evanescence EP (1998) and Sound Asleep EP (1999), selling them at various local venues. In 2000, Evanescence recorded their first album; Origin. This rather as demo counted album 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. 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". 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 Denis 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.
right|350px|Amy about her clothing style on stageLee 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 46th Grammy Awards 2004, 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-top 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 sexual attraction 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.
In 2011, she was listed as the number #1 'hottest chick in Hard Rock' by Revolver Magazine.
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". 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. 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 filmThe Punisher.
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. 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. 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.
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 and epic." However, the producers of Narnia stated that Lee was never asked to compose any music for the film, whose score was written by Gregson-Williams, and that "No Evanescence music was planned for the soundtrack." 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".
In February 2007, MTV released MTV Unplugged: Korn to television and radio, in which Lee is featured during the song "Freak on a Leash". The song was also released as the first single from the album. In November 2007, VH1 produced a rockumentary 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.
In June 2008, the National Music Publishers' Association presented Lee with their 2008 Songwriter Icon Award, which "recognizes outstanding songwriters for their personal achievement".
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. 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.
- Born: 13-Dec-1981
- Birthplace: Riverside, CA
- Gender: Female
- Religion: Christian
- Race or Ethnicity: White
- Sexual orientation: Straight
- Occupation: Singer
- Nationality: United States
- Executive summary: Evanescence
Born in California, grew up in Florida, Illinois, and Arkansas.
- Father: John Lee
- Mother: Sara Cargill
- Brother: Robbie Lee
- Sister: Carrie Lee
- Sister: Lori Lee
- Sister: Bonnie Lee (d. 1987 at age three, inspiration for multiple Evanescence songs)
- Boyfriend: Ben Moody (musician, broken engagement)
- Boyfriend: Shaun Morgan (musician, Seether, ex)
- Husband: Josh Hartzler (former therapist, married May 6th, 2007)