Amy Lee is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist born on December 13, 1981. She is the co-founder, lead vocalist, and the only constant member of Evanescence, the American rock band. In addition to her work with the band, Lee has also contributed to other musical projects such as Walt Disney Records’ “Nightmare Revisited” and “Muppets: The Green Album.” She collaborated with cellist Dave Eggar on the soundtracks for the films “War Story” (2014) and “Indigo Grey: The Passage” (2015), as well as on the song ‘Speak to Me,’ for the film “Voice from the Stone” (2017). Let’s toast to this shining star right here!
Amy Lynn Hartzler, better known by her stage name Amy Lee, was born on December 13, 1981, in Los Angeles, California, to John Lee, a radio jockey and television personality, and Sara Cargill. She has two sisters, Carrie and Lori, and a brother, Robby, who died in 2018. They made their way from California to Florida to Illinois to Arkansas. She had a passion for the piano since she was a child and desired to be a classical composer. Lee was a music student at Middle Tennessee State University, but she dropped out after meeting lead guitarist Ben Moody at a youth camp, and formed Evanescence, in 1995. The band played on local radio stations until 1998 and 1999, when they released limited editions of two E.P.s, “Evanescence” and “Sound Asleep.” Later in 2002, they signed a record deal with Wind-Up Records, with former band member David Hodges, and released their debut album, “Fallen,” which went seven times platinum and catapulted them to international fame.
She has worked with bands such as Korn and Seether, as a solo artist. She’s also worked on the soundtrack for “Underworld” (2003) and musical projects including Walt Disney’s “Nightmare Revisited” (which she played live at the Hollywood premiere) and Jay Leno’s “The Good Night Show” (2008). In 2006, she appeared in a music video for Johnny Cash’s song ‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down.’
‘Freak on Leash’ was performed live in the M.T.V. studios in New York City in 2006 for the band’s acoustic set. In 2008, she sang a rendition of ‘Sally’s Song’ in Walt Disney’s “Nightmare Revisited.” Her band’s self-titled album “Evanescence” was released in Europe and the United States in 2011. It remains the band’s most successful project to date. In 2012, Lee recorded the song ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ for the album “We Walk The Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash,” which is a tribute album to country music icon Johnny Cash. She also made her debut as a film composer, collaborating with friend and composer Dave Eggar on the indie film “War Story” (2014).
Between 2003 and 2005, Lee was in a relationship with Seether’s lead singer Shaun Morgan. Her song ‘Call Me When You’re Sober’ was about him, after they split because of his habit of substance abuse. In a live music broadcast, in 2007, Lee announced that she was engaged. Josh Hartzler, a therapist and long-time friend of Lee’s, proposed to her, she later revealed on EvThreads.com. She has said that he was the inspiration for the songs ‘Good Enough’ and ‘Bring Me to Life.’ On May 6, 2007, the couple married and honeymooned in the Bahamas. Jack Lion Hartzler, the couple’s first child, was born on July 24, 2014.
Amy Lee co-founds the rock band Evanescence, with guitarist Ben Moody.
Lee performs two songs, ‘Breathe’ and ‘Fall into You,’ as a guest vocalist for David Hodge.
The band’s debut album, “Fallen,” is released and sells well over 15 million copies worldwide.
Lee receives the National Music Publishers Association’s ‘Songwriter Icon’ award, which recognizes outstanding songwriters for their personal achievements.
She makes her debut as a film composer, co-scoring the indie film “War Story” with friend and composer Dave Eggar.
Lee drops “Dream Too Much,” a children’s album written with many members of her immediate family.
Why We Love Amy Lee
Her style is unique
Amy Lee has a distinct dress sense, characterized by her use of gothic make-up on occasion and a preference for Victorian-style attire. She's been dubbed a ‘gothic rock superstar’ by some. She also creates many of her outfits, such as the one she wore to the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2011 and the one she wore to the Grammy Awards in 2004.
Her music is unique
Lee’s exploration of rock music is very captivating, mixing something dark and something light or heavy with something beautiful. She has a voice that displays her femininity and contrasts it with a lot of aggression.
She is an activist
She uses her fame to raise awareness about epilepsy, a condition her brother suffered and which almost three million other people in the United States also suffer. She is the face of the Epilepsy Foundation's Out of the Shadows campaign, which was created to raise awareness about epilepsy around the world.
5 Surprising Facts
Amy Lee has a food allergy
The singer has admitted to being allergic to lobsters.
She was bullied in high school
Bullies nicknamed her “Amy Flea” in junior high.
She loves cats
Lee has a kitten named Zero.
Her favorite movie
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is her favorite movie.
She wanted to be a vet
When she was a kid, she wanted to be a veterinarian.
Amy Lee FAQs
What is Amy Lee's vocal range?
Lee’s vocal range is about 3.6 octaves.
What is Amy Lee's heritage?
Lee is of Scottish and English heritage.
Was Amy Lee in an abusive relationship?
Lee says she is still mad at herself for staying in an abusive romance with Ben Moody for three years, because her lyrics were telling her it was time to move on.
Amy Lee’s birthday dates