Evanescence's Amy Lee at the 46th GRAMMY Awards in 2004
Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
How Evanescence's Best New Artist Win Championed The Outcasts
(The Recording Academy asked recipients of the Best New Artist GRAMMY to share firsthand accounts of winning one of music's biggest awards. In this installment, Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee details the band's win for 2003. The other artists nominated for Best New Artist at the 46th GRAMMY Awards were 50 Cent, Fountains Of Wayne, Heather Headley, and Sean Paul.)
(As told to Lisa Zhito)
I was definitely hoping [Evanescence] would have a nomination for something, but was shocked when I found out that we were nominated for five [GRAMMYs]. I couldn't believe it. It was so fun to call my parents and tell them that news, we were all screaming!
My music is very much from, for and about the outcasts, the girl in the corner. We're not the cool kids. So to feel so appreciated on such a huge, respected and historical platform was basically a way better version of Carrie winning prom queen. Without the pig's blood.
We all thought that 50 Cent was going to win Best New Artist. I think everybody did. When 50 Cent started walking toward the stage in the middle of my acceptance speech, it seemed exactly like that moment in Zoolander where Hansel wins the modeling award but Derek is so sure that he's going to win he doesn't notice they called the other guy's name.
50 walked up, stopped well before reaching us at the podium, walked across the stage in front of us, and went back into the audience. It was so weird! Maybe he was planning to say something and then chickened out, or he did it to win a bet or something. It looked a little like he was trying not to smile. All in all, it just made a crazy moment even crazier.
A GRAMMY is like an Olympic gold medal for musicians. It gives you credibility, respect — dubs you a master of your craft. I think being lifted up by the GRAMMYs has shined a brighter light on us so more people have taken notice of my music, my band. I feel very honored to have been recognized and appreciated that way by other artists, producers [and] professionals in the music industry.
(Amy Lee is a two-time GRAMMY winner as the lead singer of Evanescence. In September Lee released her debut children's music album, Dream Too Much.)
(Lisa Zhito is a Nashville-based writer and teacher. She last interviewed Graham Nash on Crosby Stills & Nash's GRAMMY for Best New Artist in 1970.)