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No vanishing act for Evanescence's Amy Lee

Amy LeeNot even a year and a half ago, the notion of Evanescence's Amy Lee discussing how to handle her money with a journalist might have been laughable. The 22-year-old Lee was living with several roommates in her native Little Rock, Ark., waiting for her band's first album to come out and praying for the best.

Well, as anyone who's listened to a radio in the past year is well aware, the best is exactly what she got.

Evanescence's debut album, "Fallen," became an incredible hit. Largely on the strength of the single "Bring Me to Life," the CD has sold more than 5.3 million copies in the U.S. and 12 million worldwide. In mid-July 2004, "Fallen" marked its 71st consecutive week on Billboard's Top 100, charting at a very respectable No. 26. And, at the most recent Grammy Awards, the band took home two trophies -- for Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance for "Bring Me to Life."

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Evanescence sprang from the collaboration of Lee and childhood friend Ben Moody, who met and began writing songs while in their early teens. The songs on "Fallen" were written collaboratively, and the two were regarded as the band's guiding lights. So Lee was caught off guard last October when, with the album soaring up the charts and the band in the midst of a worldwide tour, Moody packed his bags and left for home without warning.

A guitarist friend was soon recruited to take his place, and Evanescence continued on, leaving the question of how much of the band's identity Moody took with him. That question, of course, will remain unanswered until Evanescence releases its sophomore effort. But Lee is confident the band's creative stride will continue.

Bankrate spoke to Lee about the perils of being thrown into fame.

Bankrate: With such quick success, how do you handle dealing with the business end of things?

Amy Lee: The business (stinks). I try to stay out of it as much as possible, but you can't completely or you get screwed over. It's a tough business. It's kind of designed to screw the artist. My grandpa is an attorney. When we were first going to sign a record contract, we started showing the contracts to my grandpa, and he's like, "I don't understand. These are all horrible. I would never advise a client to sign anything like this." And it's not just about contracts. We're doing fine, obviously, but it's just such a screwed-up industry. I hate to get into the business end. I'd rather just hire good people to handle it for me.

Bankrate: Have you been able to find good people?

Amy Lee: Yeah, I have. It takes a lot of looking, but they're definitely out there.

-- Posted: Aug. 3, 2004




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