Jessica Ann Simpson (born July 10, 1980) is an American pop
music singer who rose to fame during the late-1990s. In the following
decade, she starred with her then-husband Nick Lachey, in the MTV
reality show Newlyweds, released her own line of Dessert Beauty
and Dessert Treat beauty products and started a career as an actress
while continuing her music career.
Early life and beginning
Simpson was born in Abilene, Texas and raised in Richardson, a suburb
of Dallas, Texas. She is the daughter of Joe Truett Simpson (a former
Baptist youth minister) and Tina Ann Drew (a former Sunday School
teacher). She has a younger sister, Ashlee, who launched her own
music career in mid-2004. Simpson started singing at the age of
twelve as a part of her Baptist church choir. At the same age, she
made an unsuccessful application for The New Mickey Mouse Club,
which starred fellow pop singers Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears
and Justin Timberlake, among other future stars.
Simpson attended J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas.
She was discovered singing at a church camp by a head of a small
contemporary Christian record label and recorded an album over the
next three years; however, the label folded before the record could
be released. She dropped out in her senior year in order to tour
and promote her demo album, which was funded by her grandmother,
Joyce (thus the reason for the name of her 2004 holiday album, Rejoyce:
The Christmas Album); she later earned her GED. During this time,
she toured with the Christian Youth Conference circuit performing
with Kirk Franklin, God's Property and CeCe Winans. She and her
father sold copies of the album after her performances.
Tommy Mottola of Columbia Records obtained a copy of the album
and, thinking she had potential as a pop singer, signed her as such.
Christian influences can still be found in much of her music.
19992002: Pop music beginnings
In late 1999, Simpson released her debut album Sweet Kisses, which
reached a peak of number twenty-five on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart
and also made the top forty of the UK charts. The album proved to
be a success, selling two million copies in the U.S. Her first single,
the platinum-selling "I Wanna Love You Forever," reached
the top five of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and the
top ten in Canada and the UK. Her second single, a duet with then-boyfriend
Nick Lachey of boy band 98 Degrees, "Where You Are", was
a modest radio hit. The last single from the album, "I Think
I'm in Love with You", was a top forty hit in the U.S. and
a top twenty hit in Canada and the UK. In 2000, Simpson won two
Teen Choice Awards for Choice Breakout Artist and Love Song of the
Year ("Where You Are"). In 2000, Simpson appeared on the
98 Degrees video My Everything.
Released during the summer of 2001, Simpson's second effort Irresistible
reached the top ten of the Billboard 200 and top twenty of the Canadian
album chart. Despite this improvement over her debut, the album's
sales were less than satisfactory; to-date, it has only managed
to be certified gold in the U.S. for selling 500,000 copies. The
title track lead single, "Irresistible", reached the top
twenty in the U.S., Canada, and the UK, as well as the top forty
in Australia. A follow-up single entitled "A Little Bit"
was also released, but failed to achieve substantial success. In
2002, Columbia Records released a EP remix album titled This Is
the Remix containing electro-dance remixes of Simpson's biggest
2003present: Marriage and career development
On October 26, 2002, Simpson married Nick Lachey. She famously announced
that she remained a virgin until her wedding night, making Lachey
the only man she had been with intimately. During the summer of
2003, Simpson and Lachey's reality show Newlyweds began airing on
MTV. Although Simpson was moderately famous before the series began,
the show is considered the crowning glory of her career.
Throughout the run of four seasons she seemed to epitomize the
stereotypical dumb blonde, notably when she asked Lachey whether
the Chicken of the Sea tuna she was eating was chicken or fish.
She also indicated that she believed that buffalo wings were made
from actual buffalo. Her apparent ignorance helped turn the show
into a huge hit, making the average rating for each episode about
1.4 million viewers. (The gaffe was also a running joke in a Pizza
Hut commercial, where she was shown to be annoyed at having her
intelligence mocked again.) When introduced to Interior Secretary
Gale Norton, Simpson responded: "You've done a nice job decorating
the White House". It has been suggested that her apparent ignorance
is simply an act she has parlayed into various commercial, television
and film endorsements.
Banking on the success of her new popularity, she appeared on a
variety show with Lachey on the ABC called the Nick and Jessica
Variety Hour in 2004. A pilot for a sitcom on ABC was also planned,
but was rejected by network executives in May 2004. During that
summer, Simpson won three Teen Choice Awards for Female Fashion
Icon, Hottie Female, and Female Reality/Variety TV Star for Newlyweds.
In 2005, the series won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Reality
Show and wrapped shortly after.
Simpson's third album, In This Skin, was released during the summer
of 2003 to coincide with the premiere of Newlyweds. Though initially
the album was not a huge success, it rebounded on the charts when
a special collector's edition was released in the spring of 2004.
It subsequently reached a peak of number two on the Billboard 200
and the top forty of the UK charts, due largely to the success of
Newlyweds. The album eventually proved to be her most commercially
successful, selling almost three million copies in the U.S.; it
also yielded arguably her most successful single to-date, "With
Simpson released a holiday album in late 2004 entitled ReJoyce:
The Christmas Album, which sold moderately. During the summer of
2005, Simpson made her first major film appearance as Daisy Duke
in The Dukes of Hazzard. The film debuted at number one on the U.S.
box-office chart, grossing more than thirty million USD. One of
the songs from the film's soundtrack, "These Boots Are Made
for Walkin'", was sung by Simpson. The track won a People's
Choice Award for Favorite Song from a Movie in early 2006. Her performance
however, was lambasted by film critics, and she was nominated for
worst supporting actress in the Razzie Awards; Simpson's sister
Ashlee was also nominated for her role in the film Undiscovered.
In November 2005, after months of speculation, Simpson and her
husband Nick Lachey officially announced that they had split. Simpson
filed for divorce on December 16, 2005, citing "irreconcilable
differences". She has asked the courts not to grant Lachey
spousal support. The couple's divorce has been highly publicized
worldwide. Lachey is reportedly trying to take half of the couples'
The couple sold their Calabasas mansion to Malcolm in the Middle
star, Justin Berfield for an undisclosed amount.
Simpson's next album, A Public Affair, is set to be released August
29 2006 with Epic Records, ending her ties with co-owned Columbia
Records. She has also finished filming her second movie Employee of
the Month, with Dane Cook, in New Mexico She launched a shoe collection
that was set to be released in major department stores across the
U.S. from February 2006.
According to her official site, her next single "Public Affair"
hits radio on June 23, 2006. The music video will be released on
June 30, 2006.
Jessica is also set to further her movie career in 2 big screen
productions this year. Firstly, she beat out Brittany Murphy to
the role of "Emily Benjamin" is "Major Movie Star"
aswell as stating she is also "on-board" as Pam Ewing
in the big screen adaptation of Dallas (Co-Starring with Jennifer
Lopez, Lindsay Lohan & John Travolta) set to go into production
in late 2006.
At the beginning of her career, Jessica gained public attention when
she proclaimed she was saving herself till marriage. Her music videos
at the time also displayed an innocent look with very few sexual innuendos,
which garnered many praise from religious groups and conservative
In January of 2002, Jessica Simpson posed in lingerie for Maxim
Magazine. The publication also named her #18 in its May 2006 Hot
Jessica Simpson currently is the official celebrity spokesperson
for Operation Smile, a charity group that provides free reconstructive
surgery for children with facial deformities. She recently sat in
on an operation in Kenya to show her support, as well as supporting
Operation Smile on Capitol Hill. She has also appeared as a spokesperson
for the acne treatment Proactiv Solution
Her public image as a naive or ignorant person of low intelligence,
fueled by her behavior on Newlyweds (which included questioning
whether Chicken of the Sea tuna fish was chicken or fish, or refusing
to eat buffalo wings because, as she stated, she did not eat buffalo),
became fodder for ridicule and satire. In 2006 singer Pink released
a song called "Stupid Girls" which directly mocked Simpson;
in particular a line, "Maybe if I act like that/flippin' my
blonde hair back/push out my bra like that" is delivered spoken-word
in a fashion that emulates a spoken word section of Simpsons "Walking"
cover. In the music video Pink also mocks the music video for "Walking".
However, her mother claimed in an edition of Vanity Fair magazine
that she has a 160 IQ.
Simpson and husband broke up in 2005 after a little over 3 years
Simpson also brought attention to herself on March 16, 2006, when
she declined an invitation by President George W. Bush to appear
at a Republican fundraiser to represent Operation Smile, because
that group is non-partisan, and because Simpson preferred to keep
her political views private. The decision was seen as a "snub"
by some, such as GOP leader John Boehner.
Musician Adam Green wrote and recorded one of his most well known
songs, Jessica, describing Jessica Simpson's timely descent through
her fraudulence, for his 2003 album Friends of Mine
2006: Employee of the Month
2005: The Dukes of Hazzard
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