Amy Lee Amy Lynn Lee, singer-songwriter and classically-trained pianist, is co-founder and lead singer of the alternative metal band Evanescence. Inspired by her mother, Lee spent nine years of her life practicing piano. Lee was born to parents John Lee, radio personality, and Sara Cargill. Living in Florida and California, they finally settled in Little Rock, Arkansas, where the band Evanescence began. Hearing Lee’s beautiful voice and heartfelt words, tears fall from the cheeks of some listening.
Her words resonate in the soul of the receiver.
At a summer youth camp, Ben Moody noticed Lee on the piano playing the song, “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” by Meatloaf. A month later, the two began writing songs, eventually producing Evanescence EP in 1998, Sound Asleep EP in 1999, and the full length demo, Origin, in 2000. Signing with Wind-Up Records, Evanescence released Fallen in 2003, selling six point six million copies and spending 43 weeks in the Billboard top ten.
Evanescence’s major label debut single, “Bring Me to Life,” was a major hit for the band and reached number five on the American Billboard Hot 100, while the equally popular “My Immortal” peaked at number seven in the United States. Their inclusion in the soundtrack for the action movie, “Daredevil,” helped propel both songs into widespread popularity and firmly cemented Evanescence within the music scene. “Bring Me to Life” gained recognition for the band at the Grammy Awards of 2004, where the band was given the Best Hard Rock Performance award.
At the same time, Evanescence was awarded Best New Artist. Lead-guitarist Ben Moody abruptly left the band during the middle of their European tour. Relieved of an abusive relationship with Moody, Lee states, “Before, I wasn’t allowed to play any organ because Ben didn’t like it. This time I could do whatever I wanted, and there’s lots of organ. It’s all over. ” (Lee) Moody was replaced by Terry Balsamo, the former Limp Bizkit guitarist.
Meanwhile, the band went through numerous obstacles: Balsamo suffered from a stroke, Lee sued her manager, claiming sexual assault, and Lee broke ties with her boyfriend, Seether’s Shaun Morgan. Lee and Morgan produced a duet, “Broken,” which appears in the soundtrack to “The Punisher. ” After three years absence, Evanescence’s second album, The Open Door, was released. The Open Door debuted at the top of the Billboard charts, selling more than 447,000 units in its first week and reached platinum status in just over a month.
The album is defined by Lee’s beautiful melodies, compelling lyrics, deeply moving piano and amazing vocals, blended with Terry Balsamo’s urgent yet intricate guitar to form a seamless, delicate mixture that perfectly channels the band’s hard rock and classical sensibilities. The album’s first single, “Call Me When You’re Sober,” bashes Morgan for his drug addiction. Lee began writing at the tender age of eleven. She remains true to herself through life’s trials, writing and singing from the heart, captivating audiences worldwide.
When Lee and Moody, co-founders of Evanescence, began singing, Lee was only sixteen. Lee has matured over the years, as is reflected in the album The Open Door. As Alen Meltzer, CEO of Wind-Up Records, states, “She is the female voice of her generation. She’s come into her own as a writer and a singer. She made this record with no label involvement. It was all her. ” (Meltzer). Some may find the lyrics of Evanescence offensive, yet others may find them soothing, finally having someone put words to their pain and anger.