Born Amanda Leigh Moore on April 10, 1984, in Nashua, NH; daughter of Don and Stacy Moore. Addresses: Record company--Sony Music, 550 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022- 3211. Website--Mandy Moore Official Website: http://www.mandymoore.com.
Mandy Moore, once known in her adopted hometown as the "National Anthem Girl," managed to parlay her reputation as a local curiosity into national fame as a recording artist, all by the time she was 15. By the age of 17, she had managed to build an even greater audience and move from music into acting.
Born on April 10, 1984, in Nashua, New Hampshire, Moore moved with parents Don and Stacy and older brother Scott to Orlando, Florida, a couple of months later. Younger brother Kyle was born after the family had settled into its new home in California. In Moore's biography on the Mandy Moore website, she wrote about her early interest in music: "Ever since I was 6, I knew I wanted to be a performer. I went to see the play Oklahoma!, and the girl on stage was having so much fun, and everyone in the audience was so entranced watching her. I had this little karaoke machine in my room, and I would stand on my bed belting out songs like 'Wind beneath My Wings.' My parents thought it was just a phase, but after years of me begging them, they let me start singing lessons when I was 10."
The vocal training paid off, because before long Moore was performing in local musical theater productions and singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at any Orlando-area sporting event that would have her. Mandy became so closely associated with the song in and around Orlando that she was known locally as the "National Anthem Girl," and the exposure provided her with her first big break. She was approached by a couple of record producers who'd heard her sing and asked if she would be interested in working on some songs with them. "It was so random--like, right place, right time," Moore wrote in her website biography. "Next thing I knew I was making a demo, which led to my record deal."
Moore's first album, So Real, was released in December of 1999 and quickly went platinum. The first hit single off the album, "Candy," went gold and received heavy airplay from disc jockeys around the country. Never one to pay close attention to chart numbers, Mandy told on her website of her reaction to the news that the single was a hit: " ... to me that just means a lot of people liked it. I guess the more people you can reach with your music, the better--I try to remind myself that that's the goal."
Unlike some of her contemporaries on the teen rock scene, Moore is not an alumna of television's Mickey Mouse Club, which has given the world such performers as Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake of 'N Sync. Although she grew up in Orlando, home of the Disney-produced show, Moore concentrated her singing efforts on the national anthem and appearances in local productions of classic Broadway shows, including Guys & Dolls and South Pacific. She remains a big fan of live theater and says she would like to go back to doing it at some point in the future. "I think even if you don't go into the entertainment industry, it's a really good way to build your self-confidence to branch off into anything," she said in an interview with Dr. Drew.com. "You don't have to have any real talent to do it [live theater]--it's just fun. I didn't plan on being a singer or actress when I first did it, but I liked it so much that here I am."
Although she professes to love just about any kind of music, Moore does confess to a particular weakness for the music of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill, and Madonna. The songs from her first album, So Real, including the title song, "Quit Breakin' My Heart," and "What You Want," reflect the diversity of her taste in music. Back home in Florida, she has been learning to play the guitar and hopes that eventually she will be able to write more of her own songs. Away from music, her favorite subjects in school are English and French, while her least favorite is mathematics. Other favorites of the teen singer include the movie Beaches, the book A Land Remembered, and actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Ryan Phillippe.
Moore's second album, I Wanna Be with You, though little more than a remix of some of the songs from So Real, received a somewhat warmer reception from the critics and was an even greater commercial success than her first recording. Among the songs from So Real that were refashioned for I Wanna Be with You were "Candy," "Lock Me in Your Heart," "So Real," and "Walk Me Home." Critics were still more impressed with Moore's third album, self-titled, that was released in June of 2001. Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine said the album's most winning quality was its consistency. Writing for the All Music Guide, Erlewine observed, "This may not hit tremendous heights, yet everybody involved is working so hard that they've managed to come up with a record that's consistently satisfying. It doesn't stretch the teen pop formula much, just enough to give the record character, and Moore delivers the songs sturdily, never taking the forefront, but blending into the lush, layered production, so the music just rolls forth as a whole. And that whole sounds great--immaculately crafted, precisely polished, exactly what a teen pop album should be."
In addition to her busy recording career, Moore is a national spokeswoman for Neutrogena products, appearing in the company's print and broadcast advertising campaigns. She also is an almost constant presence on the MTV cable television network. Over the past couple of years, she has co-hosted Total Request Live, best known as simply TRL, and appeared in her own show as well as a number of specials, including "Mandy's Mountain Makeover" and "Mandy's Spring Breakover." In the summer of 2000, Mandy hit the big screen when she made her film debut in director Garry Marshall's The Princess Diaries.
Outspoken about the dangers of drinking and drugs, Moore makes it clear that she has no room in her life for those bad habits. In her interview with Dr. Drew.com, she said of alcohol and drugs, "I don't see why people do it. With drinking I think it's just social pressure when you're younger.... Oh, and smoking, too.... I get allergic when I'm around smoke. My eyes puff out and my throat gets closed up so I can just never be around it. I know it sounds corny, but just say no."
by Don Amerman
Mandy Moore's Career
Began doing musical theater and singing the national anthem in Orlando, FL; released first album, So Real, a platinum-seller including hit single "Candy," 1999; released second album, I Wanna Be with You, also went platinum, 2000; released self-titled album, 2001.
- Selected discography
- So Real , Epic/550 Music, 1999.
- I Wanna Be with You , Sony Music, 2000.
- Mandy Moore , Sony Music, 2001.
February 2005: Moore created a line of T-shirts, which she released under her signature label, Mblem. Source: USA Today, www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-02-09-moore-tshirts_x.htm, February 9, 2005.
April 21, 2006: Moore starred in American Dreamz, which was released by Universal Pictures. Source: New York Times, http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=333834, May 5, 2006.
- ELLEgirl, August 8, 2001.
- "About Mandy," MandyNow.com, http://www.mandynow.com/bio/index.shtml (September 19, 2001).
- "Biography," Mandy Fanatic, http://mandyfanatic.com/new1/bio.html (September 19, 2001).
- "Biography," MandyOnline.com, http://www.mandyonline.com/bio.html (September 19, 2001).
- "Mandy Moore," About the Artist.com, http://abouttheartist.com/biography.asp?artist=mandy_moore (September 19, 2001).
- "Mandy Moore: I'm Just a Girl," Dr. Drew.com, http://www.drdrew.com/article.asp?id=456 (December 28, 2001).
- Mandy Moore Official Website, http://www.mandymoore.com (September 20, 2001).