Why ‘This Is Us’ Star Mandy Moore’s Return To Music Took So Long

Mandy Moore’s last album turns 10 this year. The popular actress got her start in music, but fans kind of assumed she grew out of it. She recorded her first song when she was a teenager. Not many people have the same interests in their thirties as they do when they’re 13. 

Moore currently stars on the popular TV show This is Us. Since 2009, she’s had a few acting gigs. She’s also done some voice acting as the Disney princess Rapunzel from Tangled. Fans assumed that she’d been doing exactly what she wanted to be doing. It turns out that’s far from the truth.

Now, Moore has a new song out, ahead of her next album, and she’s opening up about what took her so long.

Mandy Moore says her ex-husband held her back

Mandy Moore attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Mandy Moore | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Not only did her now ex-husband Ryan Adams stymie her career, but he was also emotionally abusive and controlling, according to Moore. In Moore’s version of their relationship, Adams promised to use his talent and influence in the music world to advance her career. Moore continued to write songs and work on music, but no one ever heard it. 

Adams would often promise to record with Moore, only to cancel at the last minute, or worse: replace her with another female vocalist. He also wouldn’t let her work with other big names in the industry. Another manager or producer could have helped her advance in the business, but according to Moore, Adams took the reigns of her career. 

Adams denies all of this. His representative says that Moore’s version of events is “completely inconsistent with his view of the relationship.” 

Ryan Adams is facing multiple accusations

Moore isn’t the only woman to speak out against Adams. She’s one of seven women who have come forward in total. Some allege that Adams harassed them, others that he propositioned them for sex. There is one common theme in all of these accounts: the accusation that Adams used his influence in the music industry to gain control of talented women.

Moore’s account is part of a pattern of behavior, according to her and others who have accused Adams of misconduct. One of the more serious accusations against Adams is that he had inappropriate contact with an underage girl. A fan reached out to him when she was 14 for advice on her musical career aspirations. They began chatting online, and then Skyping. She alleges that Adams exposed himself to her on Skype.

Adams denies all of these allegations as well. 

Mandy Moore has got a new song out

Now, 10 years after her last album, Moore has a new song out and a music video to go along with it. The video for ‘I Wasn’t Watching’ shows a lot of close-ups of Moore singing to the camera. The style is reminiscent of the types of videos that were popular when Moore got her start.

However, the song is anything but the sugary pop numbers Moore was known for in her youth. It’s a bittersweet ballad that will resonate with adults everywhere. Moore sings about the loss of identity that comes with the monotony of adulthood. She sings: “my favorite version of me disappeared, through longer days and shorter years.”

‘When I Wasn’t Watching’ is also clearly a lament over what she feels like were wasted years with Adams. Moore herself thinks he took the best years of her career from her, although she still has huge potential. She has a dedicated fan base, and she hasn’t dropped out of the limelight completely. Since Moore has kept up with her acting career, it will be easier for her to get back into music.

Moore’s new album is coming out in 2020.