The Cult of Mandy

Mandy Moore is one of those recording artists/actresses who reigned supreme during the nineties, even though she was just a teenager. Adored by millions of fans around the globe, she keeps on churning out great work even till today and time hasn’t made her into a McCaulkay Culkin, or a Different Strokes, gone horribly reimagined. Her latest role, that of voicing ‘Rapunzel’ in Tangled has earned her both critical acclaim and box-office success – this comes right at the heels of forever popping up on our television screens in the unlikeliest of ways – from cameos in Scrubs to getting an animated makeover in The Simpsons. She has come a long way from her obscure days, living under the shadow of much-more established stars of her generation, very few notable music albums to write home about, successfully carving out a very-own niche for herself.

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Moore like the reigning ‘pop Queen’ of her decade, Gwen Stefani, has dabbled in fashion previously but it did not lead to a lot of acclaim, unlike Stefani, and her venture can be looked upon as something more in sync with how the LA society likes to perceive music stars’ approach to clothes and shoes – simply another way to capitalize on their newfound success. It’s difficult to contemplate why the bruises and the attacks against such a talented young woman, but perhaps achieving excellence at par with her chart-breaking ‘Candy’ or her performance as ‘Jamie Sullivan’ in the heart-breaking romance story A Walk to Remember is what many of her critics expected off her, but often had to turn away with disappointment at receiving a sordid ‘goodbye-kiss’ compilation album or a definite move away from the type of roles she likes to play in films, or songs she likes to sing, towards, yet another Christina Aguilera-style revamp – more albums that just attempt to breakfree from her previous well-received work.

Moore on the N*Sync:

“It was so cool. I really respect them and their music, but I kinda went in and didn’t necessarily expect really normal down to earth people. Then again, I didn’t expect them to be these big headed people! They were just so nice.”

One of her latest songs ‘I See the Light’ from Tangled’s OST, won a Grammy, but apart from that Mandy Moore has had quite a resurgence in the last few years, cementing her status as an ‘It’ girl in Hollywood. She currently stars in the animated edition of Tron, titled Tron: Uprising, as well as the lead character in Disney Junior’s Sherriff Callie’s Wild West. When you look at her previous albums, aside from hit singles, such as ‘I Wanna Be With You’ and ‘In My Pocket’, there has been a general downward spiral to how Moore crafts her songs – she has become the sugar-coated vocalist who suddenly discovers her Hampshire roots and begins to croon about life and love. It was startling to discover that Moore no longer likes her previous work, despite its RIAA Gold-certifying success, but what was even more surprising is how she is convinced that gaining complete freedom on her music means going the unconventional way. Commercialising music is often looked upon as a fad that never dies but it is precisely so because great music doesn’t really have a sell-by date.

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Her roles in films have taken her far – the first breakthrough came for Moore in 2001 in an entirely anti-heroine part, as the school-girl no kid wants to be, ‘Lana Thomas’ in The Princess Diaries, opposite Anne Hathaway. The film was received positively both at the box office and from critics, and the song ‘Stupid Cupid’ by Mandy, played out on the beach where food-fights happen, was all over MTV for quite some time. She followed this up with an adaptation of the famous Nicholas Sparks novel A Walk to Remember and the film went onto become a success in Asia, particularly. The single from her third album ‘Cry’ was roped in as part of the OST, and it sort-of gravitated Moore more towards the kind of roles in music/films that her fans wanted to see her in.

Moore on her film A Walk to Remember:

“It was my first movie and I know people say it may be cliche and it’s a tearjerker or it’s cheesy, but for me, it’s the thing I’m most proud of.”

After the success of Chasing Liberty, where Moore played the role of the President’s daughter, the British romantic-comedy, American Dreamz, opposite Hugh Grant, and License to Wed, where she co-starred with Robin Williams, there were major hiccups in the singer-songwriter’s career, musically. Numerous of her singles failed to perform to the standards hoped for, until Amanda Leigh came along in 2009, which did reasonably well on Billboard 200, premièring at 25. Mandy Moore embarked on a string of appearances on television shows, post her sixth studio album, such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, reduced her collaborations with prominent American-indie/folksy artists, like Chantal Kreviazuk, and began earning critical praise for venturing out of the traditional party-pop image, prevalent during the peak of her stardom, and writing her own music instead. She went farther from all the glitz, the glamour of the ‘bubblegum pop’ world, towards soulful solos, and her music has now emerged as classy, mature and well-thought-out.

Byte Size Mandy Moore 

Who influenced Mandy as an artist? Alanis Morissette, Joni Mitchell, Paul McCartney, Blondie, my grandmother, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Mariah Carey and Shania Twain.

Summer Camp or Girls Scout? Mandy attended the ‘Stagedoor Manor’ theatre camp. (Natalie Portman went there!)

Dating Life? ….she was in a relationship with American tennis sensation, Andy Roddick, for a little longer than a year. The couple parted ways in 2004.

Mean Girls or The Princess…favourite lead? Mean Girls!

MTV/VH1 Barometer? Mandy was ranked on #96 of “100 Greatest Women in Music” by VH1.

Birthday? April 10.

Sunsign? Aries

Hometown? New Hampshire

Favourite decade? The 70s.

Music or Films…which does Mandy love most? Music.

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About Osmi Anannya

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