The Most Tragic Losses That Changed Amy Lee

Amy Lee has described the death of her little sister as “when I became an artist. The music is my attempt to heal myself. Things like that can destroy you, or you can get through it,” she told Blender in 2004. Her lyrics as a teenager were so dark that her mother advised her to see a therapist; Lee declined their suggestion of antidepressants, worried it would compromise her art. But if her parents were upset by some of Lee’s writing, they supported her in her pursuit of a music career. And the family grew over time. Lee is the oldest of five siblings, and in 1993, her only brother was born: Robert, better known as Robby.

Robby had musical inclinations not unlike his big sister, but when he was 7 years old, he began experiencing seizures. He was diagnosed with epilepsy and struggled with the condition for the rest of his life. In 2003, just as Evanescence had its big break with the album “Fallen,” Robby was in the hospital for brain surgery, leaving Lee and the whole family in a tumultuous whirlwind of emotions.

Robby Lee died at 24 years old in 2018, of complications with epilepsy. Lee learned of his death while on tour in Australia. “[My sister’s death] was more about fear; [Robby’s] was more about love and pain,” she told Kerrang!. “The perspective is very valuable, but I’d rather not have it. I’d rather he be here more than anything.” To commemorate her brother, Lee got her first tattoo, a pixelated heart cluster from “The Legend of Zelda,” a game Robby loved to play.

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