Hilary Duff Says She Began Her Music Career Because She 'Didn't Want to Be Lizzie McGuire Anymore'

"For so long, people were just like, 'Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie' — and still now to this day, which doesn't bother me anymore, but it did for a while," recalled the "Come Clean" singer

Hilary Duff is coming clean about the reason she started singing after launching her career as an actress.

In a new interview on her How I Met Your Father co-star Josh Peck's Good Guys podcast, Duff spoke about turning to music because she "didn't want to" be so closely associated to Lizzie McGuire, the hit Disney Channel series that made her famous.

"I, at the time, wanted to start singing, and [Disney was] not super on board. They didn't want to sign me right away at Hollywood Records, and obviously that was the first place that we decided to go," recalled the 35-year-old star, who said the record label's father-son duo of executives, Rob Cavallo and Bob Cavallo, eventually expressed interest in her singing career.

"They jumped on board, and then I started making a record," continued Duff, who released her breakthrough album Metamorphosis (featuring the hit "Come Clean") in August 2003 — less than a year before Lizzie McGuire ended. "So, it wasn't like they were like, 'Let's just juice this for what we can.' It was my idea. I wanted to sing. I really didn't want to be Lizzie McGuire anymore."

Hilary Duff throwback fashion
Hilary Duff. Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Looking back on the era, she remembered feeling like people only saw her as the character. "For so long, people were just like, 'Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie' — and still now to this day, which doesn't bother me anymore, but it did for a while," said Duff. "I just desperately needed to be my own person, and I think that I thought music was going to be a good way to reintroduce myself, and it was."

As she started making music, however, the "With Love" singer continued feeling like many of her supporters weren't ready for her to grow beyond the young teenager they grew to know on television.

"I would say that was five years of my life, just trying to navigate becoming a person that I wanted to be outside of who everybody wanted me to be," said Duff. "I remember being on tour and having mothers come up to me and be like, 'Never change! Whatever you do, just never, never, never change!'"

She often felt affected by such comments, though she didn't stop trying to grow up.

"I would go into my dressing room after a meet-and-greet and just be like, 'What?' They probably didn't mean anything by it, but can you imagine telling an 18-year-old or a 17-year-old to never change?," continued Duff. "I was an angsty teenager that had a lot on my shoulders, so I did want to change."

Following Metamorphosis, which charted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold over three million copies in the U.S., Duff released 2004's self-titled album, 2005's Most Wanted and 2007's Dignity before taking a hiatus from music. She returned in 2015 with Breathe In. Breathe Out., which reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200.

Hilary Duff
Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Elsewhere in the interview, Duff spoke about the prospect of releasing another album in the future.

"It's not something that I have done in a minute. I do want to. It's a question that I get asked all the time, and since I live with my husband — who's a very talented musician — they're always like, 'Well, what would be so hard? Like, put your kids to bed, and get into the studio. Put a booth in your home,'" said the Younger actress, who's married to producer Matthew Koma.

Duff, who has three kids — son Luca (with ex-husband Mike Comrie) as well as daughters Banks and Mae with Koma, 35 — continued, "Right now, I barely have enough time to give to my three children that I decided to bring into the world. So, taking more time away from them seems like something I couldn't really wrap my head around."

Fans shouldn't give up hope for new music, though. "I miss that version of myself, and I definitely think that I have more to do in that department," she said. "I just don't know when."

Related Articles