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Although many people know Mandy Moore as the talented actress on the television hit This Is Us, fans of her music waited for over a decade for her to return to singing. This month their prayers were answered, and this month Moore dropped her first album since 2009, Silver Landings

While there’s no denying her skills as an actress, Moore’s first love — and first success — is in music. So why did she stay away from it for so long? It turns out that she went through some significant pain to find her way back to singing. 

A very young star

Moore hit the music scene in 1999, during the era of young Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. At just 15 years old, Moore released her first album, So Real, which featured the song “Candy,” her first hit.

Although Moore was later embarrassed by her teenage dancing skills, she has come to appreciate that first song sometime over the last 20 years. 

Moore was a prolific artist back then, and by the time she was 20 she had released three more albums, I Wanna Be With YouMandy Moore, and Coverage. She followed those up with Wild Hope and Amanda Leigh.

She dropped out of the music scene

Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore attends the Premiere Of Lionsgates’ ‘Midway’ | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Amanda Leigh came out in 2009, the same year Moore married her ex-husband Ryan Adams. He was a singer and songwriter who owned a record label and studio, so it looked like a match made in heaven. But it soon became clear that the reality was not what it seemed.

Adams turned out to be extremely controlling, telling Moore that she couldn’t work with anyone but him. He told her she wasn’t a real musician, causing her to doubt herself. Because of his emotional abuse, Moore lost many years of opportunities and connections in the music industry. 

Finding herself again

The couple finally divorced in 2016, and shortly after Moore landed the role on This Is Us. She wasn’t quite ready to return to music, however.

That came a few years later when she married fellow musician Taylor Goldsmith in 2018. Goldsmith has been an unflagging supporter of Moore, and together they started working on the music that would become her new album. 

In February of 2019, the New York Times ran a piece that detailed the abuse Moore had gone through with Adams. The paper also told the stories of several other women who accused him of harassment and emotional abuse. Although it was difficult for her to read about, it helped her move on from how he treated her. 

She doesn’t regret the past

Although Moore has lost a lot of years, and even her sense of self for a while to her ex-husband’s abuse, she feels that her time away from her music career was worthwhile.

“I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason, and it took the last 10 years of my life to get to this point,” she said. “I really feel like it was worth it.”

Getting back to music has been healing for her. Her songs express what she’s learned, and also help her hold onto those lessons.

“Sometimes writing a song feels like giving myself the advice I know I need the most and it’s often the hardest to heed,” she explained. “It makes the song almost a mantra of sorts – something I know I’ll continue learning because it bears repeating.”

Today Moore seems to be happy and healthy. She has a loving marriage, a stellar acting career, and at long last, a new album. Fans everywhere are glad to have her back.