Amanda Leigh "Mandy" Moore was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. Her mother, Stacy (née Friedman), is a former news reporter who once worked for the Orlando Sentinel, and her father, Donald "Don" Moore, is a pilot for American Airlines. Mandy Moore's father is of Irish and Cherokee descent, and her mother is of half English and half Jewish ancestry. Mandy Moore, who has two brothers, Scott and Kyle, grew up in Longwood, Florida, outside of Orlando, where the family moved shortly after her birth because of her father's job as an airline pilot. She was raised Catholic (though she is no longer practicing), and attended Bishop Moore High School, a Catholic school in Orlando, as well as Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs.
Mandy Moore's interest in singing grew after seeing the musical Oklahoma! She was also encouraged to perform by her maternal grandmother, who was her inspiration. Some of Moore's first public exposure occurred when she sang the national anthem at several Florida sporting events. She subsequently came to the attention of the head of the artists and repertoire department at Epic Records after his friend, a FedEx employee, overheard her as she sang at a recording studio.
Mandy Moore toured with the Backstreet Boys throughout 1999. Her debut album, So Real, was released in December 1999 and reached #31 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album charts. Unfortunately for her image, at the time of the album's release, reviewers considered Moore the latest in a series of heavily-marketed female teen singers described as "pop princesses," akin to Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Jessica Simpson. Entertainment Weekly Magazine's review of So Real, written by Elizabeth Vincentelli, accused Moore's songs of revolving around "not-yet-experienced love," of having been performed with "suffocating professionalism," and called the album's ballads "nauseating."
Mandy Moore reached mainstream radio later, and at a younger age, than Simpson, Aguilera and Spears had, and she was initially not as successful as they were, although So Real was certified platinum in the U.S. in early 2000 and sold nearly one million copies. Moore's debut teen-oriented pop hit single "Candy," which Yahoo! Movies described as "strangely provocative," peaked just outside the top forty on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts, and was certified gold. The single was more successful in Europe, especially in the UK, where it reached number 6. Allmusic called the single "mediocre" and "typical," containing lyrics that described love "in terms of sugar treats."
I Wanna Be With You
Moore released I Wanna Be with You in May 2000. The album, which was mostly completed with synthesizers, bass, guitar, and drums comprised new songs alongside tracks and remixes from So Real. Several reviewers criticized it on the basis that it was a remix album and not a true follow-up, with Allmusic accusing its style of being "trashier, flashier, gaudier, and altogether more disposable" than that of So Real. It peaked at #21 on the Billboard 200, was certified gold in the U.S., selling nearly 1,000,000 copies. The title track, "I Wanna Be with You," was the album's only single and reached #24 on the Hot 100, Mandy Moore's highest peak to date. It was also featured on the soundtrack of the film Center Stage in 2000.
In June 2001, Moore released her second full-length album, her third overall, the self-titled album Mandy Moore. She promoted the album with her first headlining concert, "Mandy Moore Live@ShoutBack." The album contained uptempo tracks and influences from Eastern music, and Allmusic was kinder, describing it as a "lush, layered production." It received mixed reviews from other critics. The album debuted at #35 on the Billboard 200, and was later certified gold in the U.S., selling 443,000 copies. The lead single was "In My Pocket," which Entertainment Weekly said contained "pumping, Indian influenced Euro disco." The album's follow-up single was titled "Crush." The early 2002 release of the final single, "Cry", tied in with the film A Walk to Remember, Moore's debut as a lead actress.
In 2006, Moore commented on her early albums with ill feelings, noting that although she believed that her first album was appropriate for her age at the time when she released it, she felt it "sucked" and that her first albums were "just awful." Moore also said that she "would give a refund to everyone who bought my first two albums" if she could; during a radio interview in April 2006, the show's co-host—who had seen her comments—asked her for a refund on the first album, a request that Moore fulfilled.
In October 2003, Moore released her fourth album Coverage, which Allmusic characterized as a "leap to musical maturity" and which Entertainment Weekly called an "effort to shed her bubblegum-blond image". The album peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 (her highest ranking to date); but "Have a Little Faith in Me" and "Senses Working Overtime", its only two singles, did not perform well on the charts. Moore's cover of "I Feel the Earth Move" appeared on Love Rocks, a compilation CD of songs from gay rights supporters.
Due to creative differences between Moore and her label, a split was announced. The company released the hits compilation album The Best of Mandy Moore, which reached #148 on the Billboard 200 in November 2004 as a final obligation to Moore's contract. Another compilation, Candy, followed in 2005. During this time period, the only music Moore had recorded was a song demo, "Hey!", written by James Renald, and a cover version of Lori McKenna's "Beautiful Man".
In early 2006, Moore stated that she missed her music career and that singing is what she was the "most passionate about." Moore had signed to Sire Records after her contract with Epic Records ended, but she left the company in May 2006. She signed with a new EMI Music-owned record company, The Firm, in July that year, describing her new contract as "especially exciting," and adding that she left Sire Records because she did not want to "follow the mainstream," but rather have "complete control and freedom" over her work. Moore's new album, Wild Hope, was released on June 19, 2007, and includes collaborations with artists Chantal Kreviazuk, Rachael Yamagata, Lori McKenna and The Weepies. Moore stayed alone in a house in Woodstock in Upstate New York while recording the album in late 2006. She performed new material from Wild Hope at the Sundance Film Festival; her first single, "Extraordinary," premiered on her MySpace profile on January 29, 2007. Moore performed the song at the Brick Awards on April 12, 2007 and launched a tour in the summer of 2007.
The album was released in the USA in June 2007 to positive reviews. It fared moderately well on the charts, debuting at number thirty on the Billboard 200 (Moore's third highest charting album in the U.S.), and at number 84 in Canada. In August 2007, Moore toured with Paula Cole, and Rachael Yamagata, playing at mid-size venues in the United States and Canada. Wild Hope was placed at number 10 on Entertainment Weekly's "The Must List" and also named Reader's Choice for that August 10 issue, two months after its release. Moore surprised many with a free concert in Boston on July 18, 2007.
On February 23, 2008, Moore released Wild Hope in Australia, and subsequently toured with Ben Lee and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Western Australia, supporting Kelly Clarkson on her tour. In October 2008, Moore posted on her website blog live videos of three new songs she's been working on, along with singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist Mike Viola. It was at first expected to a be a duo album between the two, but then in January 2009, it was revealed it would be a solo album with a collaboration with him, slated for release in April 2009.
It was announced in February 2009 that the new album was to be released in May 2009, named Amanda Leigh, and be released on a new label called Storefront Recordings. This new label was founded by Moore's long time manager John Leshay. On June 2009, Moore performed 5 tracks of her new Amanda Leigh album, including “Nothing Everything” and “Love To Love Me Back,” at the Walmart Soundcheck show.
In May 2009, she released her latest album, Amanda Leigh, to generally positive reviews. Rolling Stone said about the album: "the title is taken from the singer's real first and middle names, the acoustic instrumentation emits a cozy campfire glow, and the album was recorded in a modest basement home studio. Message: This is real music, not computerized starlet pop." Time Magazine said that the album was "impeccably recorded."
An article on the album by Paper Magazine said, "Mandy (in the album)... shows real thoughtful and emotional depth." Paper concluded that "Moore is a far better musician than she's often given credit for."
Moore has a total of singles sales in Australia of more than 241,000 copies, and was ranked at # 281 on the 1000 artists chart of ARIA Music Decade Charts (1980–2010).
On October 25, 2010, in a twitter dialog with WonderwallMSN, Moore stated that she is writing for her next album and hopes to be recording by early next year.
During the summer of 2000, Moore hosted a half-hour MTV talk show, The Mandy Moore Show, which was renamed Mandy a year later. Moore was also a Neutrogena spokesperson, appearing in commercials and print ads for the product. She has modelled for Penshoppe in the Philippines, Coach handbags in Japan, and was a spokesperson for the School and Youth Programs of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Her first acting role was in the straight-to-video children's film Magic Al and the Mind Factory in which she plays the character of Brittany Foster.
In 2001, Moore appeared in a small part as the mean and popular cheerleader Lana Thomas opposite actresses Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews in the film The Princess Diaries. During the film, Moore's character performs "Stupid Cupid," a song from the film's soundtrack. She also had a voiceover role in Dr. Dolittle 2 as the Girl Bear Cub. In 2002, Moore had her first starring role in a major feature film in A Walk to Remember, which co-starred Shane West. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, the film revolved around the developing romance between a Protestant minister's daughter Jamie Sullivan (Moore) and an unruly teenager Landon Carter (West). The film was moderately successful, bringing in $41 million in the United States, and establishing Moore's status as a lead actress. Although the film received mainly negative reviews, Moore received several positive notices for her performance, with critic Roger Ebert calling her "quietly convincing". At that summer's MTV Movie Awards, Moore won an award for "Breakthrough Female Performance" for the role. The same year, she voiced the Final Fantasy VII character Aerith Gainsborough in the Square-Disney crossover video game Kingdom Hearts, was featured in the music video for Elton John's "Original Sin", and was ranked number sixty-seven in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World".
In 2003, Moore starred in the romantic comedy film How to Deal, which failed to draw in teenage crowds in the U.S. and grossed a total of $14 million domestically. Her next film was 2004's Chasing Liberty, a romantic comedy that grossed approximately $12 million. Both films received negative reviews; however, Ebert once again singled Moore's performances out, noting in his review of How to Deal that Moore has "an unaffected natural charm" and "almost makes the movie worth seeing," and adding in his Chasing Liberty review that she has "undeniable screen presence and inspires instant affection." Other critics described her as an "actress of limited range," though one review of Chasing Liberty noted that she was the "most painless of former pop princesses." Later in 2004, Moore appeared in a lead role in the religion satire Saved! in which she played Hilary Faye, a proper and popular girl at a Christian school. The film was positively reviewed, though it did not receive a wide release. Moore received praise for her performance, with one critic calling her a "demented delight" and another naming it her best performance to date. She sang a cover version of The Beach Boys 1966 hit "God Only Knows," with Michael Stipe, that bookended the movie.
In 2005, Moore lent her voice to the film Racing Stripes as Sandy the white horse and appeared on the television series Entourage; she was also originally scheduled to star in the films Cursed, Havoc, and The Upside of Anger, all of which were eventually released in 2005 without Moore's involvement.
In 2006, Moore guest-starred in two episodes of Scrubs: "My Half-Acre" and "Her Story II". The same year, she lent her voice to The Simpsons, playing Tabitha Vixx in the episode "Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play".
Moore also appeared in the film American Dreamz, which was released in April 2006. In the film, she played a deranged contestant on a television series modeled after American Idol. Director Paul Weitz stated that he had Moore in mind for the role before she was cast, explaining that "there's something inherently sweet about Mandy; it makes it all the more interesting to see her in a villainess role". Moore has said that she enjoys playing mean-spirited characters but fears being typecast as a villain. American Dreamz opened at number nine at the U.S. box office, eventually totaling barely $7 million, and received mixed reviews; critic Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, however, wrote that Moore and co-star Hugh Grant have a "wicked barbed chemistry" in their roles, while Variety's Robert Koehler said Moore's role was a "pitch-perfect study of a woman for whom a reality show is reality".
Later that year, in what ComingSoon.net's review described as a "surprisingly good performance", Moore voiced Nita, the heroine of the Disney animated sequel Brother Bear 2, which was released directly-to-DVD on August 29. She was also originally cast to appear in that year's ensemble film Bobby, but was replaced by Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Moore, citing her conservative upbringing, has expressed dissatisfaction with her appearance on a May 2006 cover of Cosmopolitan; the magazine's headline is "orgasms unlimited", which refers to an article unrelated to her. In her movie following this, Because I Said So, co-starring Gabriel Macht, Lauren Graham and Diane Keaton, Moore's character describes in detail the feeling of an orgasm to her mother. It was released on February 2, 2007 and received mixed reviews. In License to Wed, Moore portrays a young bride-to-be who has to complete a three-week prenup course before her wedding. Co-starring John Krasinski as her fiance and Robin Williams as a priest, the film was released on July 3, 2007 to mostly negative reviews. Nevertheless, Variety described Moore's performance as "appealing." In 2007, Moore returned to the small screen in an episode of How I Met Your Mother entitled "Wait for It".
After a break of almost two years from big screen roles, Moore filmed the romantic comedy Swinging with the Finkels in the United Kingdom in 2009; the film is due for release in 2010. She was a guest star on the sixth season finale of Grey's Anatomy on May 20, 2010, her first television role since 2007. She returned in a guest role for an episode of the show's seventh season. Also that year, Moore voiced Princess Rapunzel, the tenth Disney Princess, in the CGI animated film Tangled. As of October 2010, her movies have grossed a total of $220,701,061 domestically.
Moore will star with actor Kellan Lutz in the film, First Love, Then Marriage.
Moore dated Philippines-born singer/actor Billy Crawford for a "few months" when she was younger.
Moore dated actor Wilmer Valderrama for eighteen months between 2000 and 2002. In 2006, Valderrama appeared on The Howard Stern Show and detailed that he and Moore were each other's "first loves" although he did not claim that their relationship was sexual, as was alleged by several media sources who misquoted his remarks. Moore later referred to Valderrama as a "good guy" and a "gentleman" although she has stated that his comments about their relationship were "utterly tacky".
Moore began dating tennis star Andy Roddick in 2002; Roddick ended the relationship in March 2004.
In November 2004, Moore began dating Scrubs actor Zach Braff. Referring to Braff, Moore said that she likes "good Jewish boy(s)... with a sense of humor". In 2006, the two were incorrectly reported to be engaged and broke up later in 2006.
In early 2007, media reports linked Moore to Adam Goldstein, known professionally as "DJ AM" though the two were reported to have ended their relationship in March 2007.
Also in 2007, she briefly dated actor/singer Greg Laswell.
Moore got engaged to singer-songwriter and New York resident Ryan Adams, formerly of the alt-country band Whiskeytown; they announced their engagement on February 11, 2009 and married on March 10, 2009, in Savannah, Georgia. The couple share a Terrier-mix dog named Joni (named after Moore's favourite singer Joni Mitchell) whom Moore adopted from an animal shelter in 2008.
Moore's favorite musicians include Elton John, Switchfoot, Weezer, and Bette Midler; Midler is also Moore's favorite actress, and her film Beaches was Moore's favorite film when she was a teenager. Moore also enjoys Annie Hall and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and has described herself as a "glass-half-full kind of person"; She says she does not know how to cook, but has set a goal for herself to take cooking classes.
Moore has also become a fan of mixed martial arts, often attending UFC events and being noted as one of the mainstream celebrities on hand. When shown at UFC 83, from Montreal, Quebec, color commentator Joe Rogan jokingly referred to her as a "UFC groupie". She was next seen at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 24, 2008 for UFC 84, with play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg observing that "She's becoming a UFC regular." She appeared at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 6, 2008 for UFC 86, cheering for light heavyweight contender Forrest Griffin and most recently at UFC: Silva vs. Irvin on July 19, 2008.
As to her religious beliefs, Moore considers herself spiritual, and has said that she does not think of herself as Christian. In early 2007, Moore stated that during the previous year, she had undergone a "really crazy time" in her life, asking herself "life-altering questions"