Mandy Moore is still shedding her teen pop image after all these years! Moore is releasing her sixth studio album, Amanda Leigh, later this month (May 26) and continues her transition from pop into a mature musical artist. The “Candy” singer married singer/songwriter Ryan Adams in March and recently told Billboard online about her struggle to leave her early hits behind, saying, “I find it silly that there would be any sort of apprehension, as if it’s really hard to believe that people grow up and evolve and change. I mean, it was 10 years ago, I don’t think anyone wants what they did when they were 14 or 15 to follow them around.”

Moore continued to explain, “I was proud of the work I was doing back then, but I was really just a kid. I’m going to continue to grow, and my musical tastes will change and hopefully I’ll only get better and better and work harder and harder and study more. I’m not desperately seeking out credibility as an artist. I just love music. This is what I’m most passionate about.”

Mandy Moore first emerged in the late ’90s at the age of 15 in the same vein of teen queens like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera (and with the same blonde locks!) Although Moore failed to reach the commercial success of her contemporaries, she nonetheless secured platinum status for her 1999 Epic Records-released debut album So Real thanks to the single the singer would frankly like to forget, “Candy.” The following year Epic issued a retooled version of Moore’s debut titled I Wanna Be with You and the title track landed at number 24, yet Moore remained outside of pop’s inner circle nonetheless. After 2001’s eponymous album was another mere moderate success, Moore proved her acting chops when she starred in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel A Walk to Remember.

Moore first began breaking off from the pop music pack in 2003 with Coverage, an aptly-titled album which featured the singer covering tracks by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Joe Jackson and Carole King. Epic dropped Moore when Coverage failed to sell many records and she concentrated on acting, with film roles in the indie flick Saved! and American Dreamz and TV parts on HBO’s Entourage as well as Scrubs and The Simpsons. Moore left Sire after two years (and no albums) with the label and teamed up with EMI, beginning to write original material and collaborate with Rachael Yamagata, the Weepies, Chantal Kreviazuk and Lori McKenna as well. The resulting Wild Hope arrived in 2007 and Moore supported the album with tours alongside Yamagata, Paula Cole, Ben Lee and Vanessa Hudgens.

While Moore recently called Wild Hope “a big kind of studio album,” her upcoming album is sure to be a different story. Moore recorded the bulk of Amanda Leigh at engineer Ducky Carlisle’s basement studio outside of Boston with producer and co-writer Mike Viola. Moore also co-wrote tracks for the album with Lori McKenna and Inara George and told Billboard.com, “I enjoyed breaking it down even more from ‘Wild Hope,’ where we were in a beautiful, huge state-of-the-art studio and you had a bunch of people there for, like six weeks.” She continued to describe the process as more acoustic and said that while she has “no solidified plans as of yet” in terms of touring, “We’ll be doing our fair share of little things here and there.” To catch a glimpse of her then, check online for Mandy Moore tickets.