Singer, songwriter, founder of Evanescence. Discovered by Joe Elliott of Def Leppard and a yet unknown Kurt Cobain May ’83 at the age of 15. This is the real story, not Hollywoods.
My real name is Amy Leigh but for Evanescence it was changed to the male spelling of Lee due to Tommy Lee, of Motley Crue, and Terry Lee Miall, of Adam & The Ants, who also showed up in my life in 1983. In the early ’80’s my friends gave me the nickname Tommy, so it was a joke when Kurt Cobain introduced me to Tommy Lee, “Tommy Leigh meet Tommy Lee.”
Just for the record, I am not Amy Lynn Hartzler the lead singer, but the Real Amy Lee.
I am from a small town in Alabama named Trussville which is only a few miles from Leeds where Charles Barkley, the basketball player, grew up. Charles Barkley’s birthday is February 20th and why Kurt Cobain said his birthday was Feb. 20th. This is also why he asked Barkley to appear as host on SNL with Nirvana. Kurt and I worked on most of the songs together over an 11 year period. The only way to describe Kurt is him having been my best friend and is the subject of many of the songs I wrote.
My family is religious with my grandfather having started his ministry in a small town in Georgia in the 1930’s and my uncles are evangelist/missionaries which all played an important role in my life and songs. I was a very shy child and over the years struggled with stagefright stemming from my first piano recital experience. When Joe Elliott asked if I wanted to be a singer I told him no. Joe and I also had a falling out early on. All these things are only a part of why I was kept a secret. Besides, for the artists involved it would have ruined the illusion.
Bands or artists I wrote songs for included Def Leppard, INXS, Queen, Whitesnake, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, among others.
Bands or artists I helped develop/co-found after writing songs for them included Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, P!nk, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Fergi/The Blackeyed Peas, Eminem, Evanescence, Kid Rock, Korn, Seether, P Diddy, Good Size, Joi, The Pussycat Dolls, Velvet Revolver, Iggy Pop/TeddyBears, Nickelback, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Marc Broussard, Shania Twain, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and many more.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments. I would enjoy the feedback as I am in the process of writing my autobiography. Love, Amy