For the past two-and-a-half years, Mandy Moore has triumphed: the former pop star has starred in one of the US’s most popular television shows, the time-tripping dramedy This Is Us, nabbing a Golden Globe nomination. Recently, however, Moore has been in the news for less celebratory reasons. Last month, accusations that her alt-country star ex-husband Ryan Adams had exhibited a pattern of emotional and verbal abuse made huge waves in the music industry.
Moore was one of the women allegedly tormented by Adams: she claims that he particularly took time to zero in on her music career, which Adams reportedly deemed frothy and unserious. “He would always tell me: ‘You’re not a real musician, because you don’t play an instrument,’” Moore told the New York Times. (Adams has since issued a statement stating that he is not perfect, but the picture of him painted by the article was not accurate.)
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Adams’s alleged barbs sting not only because they are rooted in rockist tropes. Moore showed promise even when she was in her earliest stages of pop stardom. In 1999, the slinky single Candy – released when Moore was 15 – rode the waves of teen pop to radio omnipresence. She wasn’t just confined to pop, either; 2007’s sun-dappled Wild Hope featured songwriting collaborations between Moore and the likes of country hitmaker Lori McKenna.
Moore met Adams in 2007, when their tours crossed paths in Minneapolis. “As a 23-year-old, impressionable woman, I was really taken by him,” she told Marc Maron on his WTF podcast. Moore became “smitten”, and the two married in 2009, the same year that Moore released Amanda Leigh, her sixth and final album.
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AdvertisementAmanda Leigh represented further artistic growth, but Moore says that Adams’s words about her talent hung in her head and – as she put it in her interview with Maron – “things really sort of quieted down” on the music front. “Music was a point of control for him,” Moore told the New York Times, adding that his “controlling behaviour” was a hindrance to her ability to make music business connections during her 20s, “a very pivotal and potentially lucrative time”. (It is alleged that Moore was not the only musician silenced by Adam’s behaviour: there was “Ava”, a once-aspiring bassist who said she was turned off from pursuing music by Adams, who allegedly sent her sexually charged texts; and Courtney Jaye, who said Adams’s behaviour “made me just not want to make music”.)
Moore is, however, on the comeback trail. Shortly after her divorce from Adams in 2016, her TV career started to thrive, and a decade after her last record, there will also be new music. “I feel like I’ve lived a life in the last 10 years,” she told Maron. “I have got plenty to say.”