Jessica Ann Simpson (born July 10 1980, in Abilene, Texas) is an American pop singer and actress who rose to fame in the late 1990s. She has achieved seven Billboard Top 40 hits, and has two gold and three multi-platinum RIAA-certified albums. Simpson starred with her then-husband Nick Lachey in the MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. She has also begun working as an actress, and is the older sister of Ashlee Simpson, an internationally successful pop rock singer and actress.
Simpson was born in Abilene, Texas. She began singing at her local Baptist church. She auditioned for the Mickey Mouse Club and made it to the finals at the age of twelve. She attended J.J. Pearce High School, but dropped out around the age of sixteen. Simpson signed with Columbia Records in 1998.
1999-2001: Rise to fame
Simpson released her first single, "I Wanna Love You Forever," which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2000. Soon afterward her album Sweet Kisses was released. Simpson toured with boy band 98 Degrees to promote her new album. She was given a role in the music video for 98 Degrees' hit song "My Everything," playing Nick Lachey's love interest. At that time she and Lachey began dating. After dating for two years the couple cooled their relationship, stating that the "break" allowed them to concentrate on their music careers. Then on September 11, 2001, Lachey was supposed to be flying out of New York City with his group 98 Degrees. When Simpson heard of the attacks on the nation coming from the airport she immediately phoned Lachey to learn his whereabouts. After this scare the couple rekindled the relationship.
Meanwhile, Simpson's album Sweet Kisses had gone double platinum, helped by follow-up singles "Where You Are" and "I Think I'm In Love With You", which were both released in 2000. The latter became Simpson's biggest radio hit at that point and was her first release of an uptempo single. But although her debut album sold 2 million copies, sales fell far short of those achieved by Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and unlike the two pop princesses, Simpson was not a worldwide household name. Columbia Records officials reportedly decided Simpson needed a change for her second album.
In 2001, Simpson recorded a follow-up album with what Columbia considered more radio-friendly, up-tempo tracks. The result in that was Irresistible, released in mid-2001 on the heels of the title-track first single. "Irresistible" became one of the biggest hits of her career; it peaked at # 15 on the Hot 100. Irresistible debuted at #6 in June 2001 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart, and has sold 825,000 copies to date.
2002: Marriage to Nick Lachey and TV success
During the summer of 2003, the reality show, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, starring Simpson and her then-new husband Nick Lachey began airing on MTV. Simpson's third album, In This Skin, was released in August of 2003 to coincide with the series premiere of Newlyweds.
The show quickly became a pop culture phenomenon and is credited with making her a household name, even among those who did not follow pop music or MTV. "I never knew that just doing the show would give me that pedestal to step on," Simpson told Blender magazine in a March 2004 feature.
On May 30, 2004, Simpson was chosen to sing the National Anthem at the Indianapolis 500. Later that summer, Simpson won three Teen Choice Awards: Female Fashion Icon, Choice Hottie Female, and Female Reality/Variety TV Star for Newlyweds.
The associated album, In This Skin, debuted at #10 on The Billboard 200 album chart, with sales of 64,000 in its first week. It rebounded after a special collectors' edition was released in April 2004 and subsequently reached a peak of #2. It was eventually certified quadruple platinum. It contained the hits "With You" (#14, 2004) and a cover of the Berlin song "Take My Breath Away" (#20, 2004), and a lesser hit, a cover of the Robbie Williams song "Angels", which charted just outside the Billboard Hot 100.
The couple starred in the television special The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour, which aired in 2004 and was compared to The Sonny & Cher Show. Simpson released Rejoyce: The Christmas Album in late 2004, which peaked at #14 on the album chart and was later certified gold.
In 2005, Newlyweds won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Reality Show before wrapping shortly after.
Move to filmIn the summer of 2005, at age 25, Simpson made her first appearance in a motion picture as Daisy Duke in the movie remake of The Dukes of Hazzard. The film was #1 at the box office its opening weekend, although it had little or no competition (the only other new film opening that weekend was a low-budget independent film), and grossed $30.7 million on 3,785 screens. It also had an adjusted-dollar rank of #14 all-time for August releases. The film eventually collected $110.5 million world-wide, although it was much less financially successful outside the U.S.
Simpson also appeared on the film's soundtrack, releasing "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'", a cover of the 1966 Nancy Sinatra hit. The song peaked at # 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Song from a Movie in 2006. The song's video featured Simpson as Daisy Duke. It contains scenes of her flirting and singing in a bar and then later washing her car in a pink string bikini. In some countries the video was banned for its overtly sexual content.
Simpson's second film, Employee of the Month, was released October 6, 2006. With poor reviews, the film took in $11.8 million in its opening weekend, debuting at #4 just behind Open Season.
Simpson's third film, Blonde Ambition, was released in December 2007 playing on limited theaters in Texas. After failing to gain interest, it was released on DVD the following month. Filming for the movie "The Witness", a spy comedy, had been scheduled for the same time but has been postponed.
2006-2007: Music and movies
November 2005 brought confirmation of rumors that Simpson and Lachey were breaking up. On June 30, 2006, their divorce was finalized. Simpson hosted the Teen Choice Awards in August 2006, and appeared on The View in September 2006 as the first choice of new co-host Rosie O'Donnell.
Simpson then returned to the recording studio, switching labels from Columbia to Epic Records. Her fourth album, A Public Affair, was released on August 29, 2006 via Epic Records. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 with 101,000 copies sold in its first week. The first single, "A Public Affair" (#14, 2006), reached the Top 20 of the Hot 100 but quickly fell off the charts. The music video for "A Public Affair" featured Eva Longoria, Christina Applegate, Christina Milian, Maria Menounos, Andy Dick and Ryan Seacrest. A second single, "I Belong To Me," was also released through her website and is now included on the CD itself. The single's video appeared on TRL countdowns, but quickly fell off.
In December 2006, while performing a tribute to Dolly Parton at the Kennedy Center Awards, she botched the lyrics, getting flustered in front of a crowd that included prominent persons such as Steven Spielberg, Shania Twain, and President George W. Bush). Afterward, during the final tribute to Parton, Parton's "biggest fan" Reese Witherspoon and her second cousin Jessica Savelli gave a tearful Simpson a comforting hug. Though Simpson was given the chance to redo the song for cameras, ultimately her portion was edited out of the CBS broadcast.
Luke Wilson co-starred with Simpson in her third film, Blonde Ambition, which was leaked online in December 2007. The movie was released on DVD the following month.
Simpson recently said she is due back in front of the cameras filming her next movie role in "The Witness." She also said she will be publishing a book containing selections from her personal journal and photographs, titled "Look Up To the Sky." Simpson has also been confirmed to be in studio recording with Eddie Galan and Drew Lane.
Jessica's father Joe Simpson stated to People magazine on September 11, 2007, that Jessica is considering doing a country album. Joe told People that Jessica is "talking about doing a country record and going back to her roots, being from Texas."
The country album has been confirmed for a 2008 release, via Columbia Records.
Following in the footsteps of other female musicians, such as Cher and Patti LaBelle, Simpson launched a line of hair and beauty products on the Home Shopping Network. Teaming with celebrity stylist Ken Pavés and trained by HSN's first-ever home shopping host Bob Circosta, Simpson sells clip-in hair extensions over the air.
Simpson has had many commercials, mainly with Pizza Hut and Proactiv Solution. She also has a commercial with Ice Breakers, along with her sister Ashlee. She has had up to three Pizza Hut commercials, the first in 2004, advertising the new Buffalo Wing Pizza (costarring The Muppets). In 2005, she started advertising Proactiv Solution, an over-the-counter acne medicine. In 2006, she premiered another Pizza Hut commercial for the Super Bowl XL broadcast. She sang "These Bites Are Made For Poppin'," in reference to the song "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'," to advertise the new Cheesy Bites Pizza. In 2007, the Super Bowl featured her third Pizza Hut commercial, which again promoted the Cheesy Bites Pizza. She has also advertised DirecTV in character as Daisy Duke.
As a self-confessed fan of magic and illusion, Simpson has become a popular choice for appearances as a special guest celebrity magician's assistant. She has made several appearances in this capacity, working with magicians such as Lance Burton, Hans Klok and Brett Daniels. Although she has participated in a wide range of different illusions, such as various levitations and penetration illusions such as The Spiker, she has stated that by far her favourite illusions are ones where she gets to be sawed in half. She has participated in this illusion several times, both as a special guest on various TV specials, and during a number of talk show appearances. At the end of a talk show appearance on Dutch TV during a visit to Europe to promote The Dukes of Hazzard, she assisted magician Hans Klok with a version of the "sawing a woman in half" illusion called Clearly Impossible.
Jessica is managed by her father, Joe Truett Simpson, whose fee is reported to be between 10 percent and 20 percent of her income. He has distanced himself from his daughters' finances, however, and has no access to their bank accounts, which are under the supervision of their shared and longtime business manager, David Levin. Mr. Simpson said he wanted his children to see that "Daddy never touched their stuff. I wanted them to always look at me with respect."
Jessica's principal photographer is Keith Munyan of North Hollywood, who also handles much of the shots of Hilary Duff and Carmen Electra.
Simpson received criticism from a Christian group calling itself "The Resistance", for the sexualized image she used in the music video for "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'".
In response, Simpson stated, "It didn't really surprise me because I grew up with a lot of that backlash. That's why I didn't end up going into the Christian music industry. I think that if they're really good Christians the judgment wouldn't be there."
Jessica Simpson is the subject of Adam Green's 2003 single "Jessica". Which includes the lyrics:
Jessica Simpson, where has your love gone? It's not in your music, no. You need a vacation to wake up the cavemen and take them to Mexico
Jessica, Jessica Simpson, you've got it all wrong.
Simpson attended Richardson, Texas public schools, including Richardson North Junior High and J.J. Pearce High School.
On October 26, 2002, at age 22, Simpson married Nick Lachey and confirmed that she had remained a virgin until her wedding night. Simpson was always vocal since she came into the spotlight that she was saving her virginity until marriage. Reproductions of Simpson's engagement and wedding rings proved popular items when offered for sale on various Internet trading sites. In November 2005, after months of tabloid speculation, Simpson and Lachey announced they were separating. Simpson filed for divorce on December 16, 2005, citing "irreconcilable differences." The couple's divorce was publicized worldwide and was reportedly finalized on June 30.
Simpson reportedly told Jane magazine in October 2006 that she knew her marriage to Lachey was over when he refused to join her on a charity trip to Africa, even though it was on their third wedding anniversary. Questions remain over whether the trip was to celebrate the anniversary, or a PR junket guided by her father/manager, who accompanied her on that day.
The couple reportedly sold their Calabasas, California mansion in which Newlyweds was filmed to Malcolm in the Middle star Justin Berfield for $3.75 million.
Simpson received increased publicity following her divorce, reportedly having romances with her Employee of the Month co-star Dane Cook and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. On February 6, 2007, the Associated Press reported that Simpson said she was stung when her ex-husband jumped back into dating after their high-profile breakup. "Oh, it hurt me," the 26-year-old singer-actress says in an interview in the March issue of Elle. "Two or three weeks later? Yeah, I'd say it kind of hurt me." Magazines have also speculated that she was jealous of her ex-husband's growing stardom and relationship with television personality Vanessa Minnillo, though she has publicly denied this.
Simpson dated John Mayer for over nine months. Dating rumors started in August 2006 with a People magazine article, but kicked into high gear when Simpson and Mayer spent New Year's holiday together in New York City, both attending Christina Aguilera's New Years Eve 2006 party. Reports indicated that the two were publicly very affectionate. In the March 2007 issue of Elle, Simpson said that in her private life she is "begging and pleading for privacy," but the interviewer did notice emails, videos, and photos of Mayer on Simpson's laptop. The two were spotted kissing and hugging at a 2007 Grammy Awards after-party, and posed for photos. Simpson also accompanied Mayer for several dates of his 2007 winter tour, before the two departed for Rome. Mayer and Simpson split in May of 2007.
On August 17, 2007 Jessica broke her nose while on the set of her new film Major Movie Star She was running with a gun over her head and tripped and fell.
In November, 2007, Simpson began dating Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. They celebrated Thanksgiving together at Simpson's grandparents' home in Waco Texas. The relationship has come under scrutiny recently when she was blamed for Romo's poor football performances as exemplified by a December game in which the Cowboys lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. Some of the Cowboy's fans have given her the nickname Yoko Romo in comparison to Yoko Ono who many Beatles fans blame for "ruining" John Lennon. This is further fueled when the Cowboys lost to the Giants in the divisional playoffs, when Romo & Simpson went on a trip during the Wild Card game bye week. FOX broadcaster Terry Bradshaw called into question Simpson and Romo vacationing in Mexico.
"If only Tony had called me and said, 'Terry, Jessica [Simpson] and I are going to go to Mexico,' I would've told him: 'You crazy? Don't do that! The paparazzi is going to find you, man. You're a star. She's a star. It's just going to happen,' " Bradshaw said in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Simpson is Operation Smile's International Youth Ambassador. In March 2007 Simpson donated a new Chrysler minivan to the Elim orphanage in Nuevo Laredo. Simpson had won a Chrysler Crossfire sports car at the 2006 MTV awards, but exchanged the $50,000 luxury car for a minivan so she could help the orphanage. She had first visited the orphanage as a child as part of her youth group mission. She has also mentioned that she has plans to adopt.