Amanda Leigh "Mandy" Moore was born in Nashua, New Hampshire and 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.
Moore's interest in singing grew after seeing the musical Oklahoma! Her first public performances included singing the national anthem at Florida sporting events. She subsequently came to the attention of the head of the artists and repertoire department at Epic Records after his friend heard her sing at a recording studio.
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. When her album was released, she was considered by critics as a heavily-marketed female teen singer or "pop princess."
Still, 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," peaked just outside the top 40 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 described love "in terms of sugar treats."
Moore released her second album I Wanna Be with You in May 2000. The album included new songs alongside tracks and remixes from So Real. Allmusic described it as 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. It was featured on the soundtrack of the film Center Stage in 2000.
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In June 2001, Moore released her second full-length album, her third overall, the self-titled album Mandy Moore. The album contained uptempo tracks and influences from Eastern music, and Allmusic was more receptive, describing it as a "lush, layered production." 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 criticized her early albums, saying that although she believed that her first album was appropriate for her age at the time when she released them, she felt they "sucked" and were "just awful."
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 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 Moore and her label parted ways, but not before the company released the hits compilation album The Best of Mandy Moore, which reached #148 on the Billboard 200 in November 2004.
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."
Moore began acting in 2002, starring in A Walk to Remember and later in other movies, such as Chasing Liberty, also aimed at teenage audiences. Two of Moore's later films, American Dreamz and Saved! were satires. Most recently Moore provided the voice of Rapunzel in Disney's animated film, Tangled.
In early 2006, Moore stated that she missed her music career and that singing is what she was the "most passionate about." Moore's album, Wild Hope, was released in June 2007 to positive reviews. The album was listed 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.
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. In May 2009 a new album was released titled Amanda Leigh, on a new label called Storefront Recordings, a label founded by Moore's long time manager John Leshay.
The album received generally positive reviews. Rolling Stone said about the album: "... this is real music, not computerized starlet pop." Time Magazine said that the album was "impeccably recorded."
In October 2010, Moore stated that she was writing for her next album, and had hoped to be recording by early 2011.
To date, Moore has sold more than 10 million records worldwide.