Jessica Ann Simpson (born July 10, 1980) is an American Pop singer who rose to fame during the late 1990s. She starred with Nick Lachey in the MTV reality show Newlyweds, released her own line of beauty products called Dessert, and started a career as an actress with appearances in the TV series That ”70s Show and in the film The Dukes of Hazzard.
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. Jessica 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.
Jessica attended J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas. Simpson 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.
On November 23, 1999, Jessica released her debut pop 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 U.K. 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 U.K. in late 1999. Her second single, a duet with then-boyfriend, now-husband Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees, “Where You Are,” was a modest radio hit. The last single from the album, the John Mellencamp-sampled “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 U.K. In 2000, Simpson won two Teen Choice Awards for Choice Breakout Artist and Love Song of the Year (”Where You Are”).
Simpson’’s second album, Irresistible, released on June 5, 2001, reached the top ten of the Billboard 200 and top twenty of the Canadian album charts. Despite this improvement, the album’’s sales were less than satisfactory; to date, it has only managed to be certified Gold in the U.S. for selling over 500,000 copies. The title track lead single, “Irresistible,” reached the top twenty in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., as well as the top forty in Australia and Switzerland. A follow-up single entitled “A Little Bit” was also released, but failed to achieve much success apart from reaching the top twenty in Portugal.
Between her second and third albums, Simpson released a collection of remixes entitled This Is the Remix on July 2, 2002. However, the collection failed to even chart on the Billboard 200.
Coinciding with Newlyweds, her third album, In This Skin, was released on August 19, 2003. On a whole, the record featured a much more mature sound compared to her earlier releases. Though the album initially was not a huge success, it got its chance to rebound on the charts when a special collector’’s edition was released on March 2, 2004. This helped Skin to reach a peak of number two on the Billboard 200 and the top forty of the U.K. charts, due largely in part to the success of Newlyweds. The album eventually proved to be her most successful, selling three million copies in the U.S. and allowing her teetering music career a second chance. The first single from the album was a cover of Diane Warren’’s “Sweetest Sin”; the song was not very successful, however, and caused a setback in sales of Skin early on. The follow-up single, the Gold-selling “With You,” enjoyed much more success, and has gone on to become her signature song and arguably most successful single. The song reached the top ten in the U.K. and the top twenty in the U.S. and Australia, as well as on world adult charts. The third single, a cover of Berlin’’s “Take My Breath Away,” also reached the top twenty in the U.S. A cover version of Robbie Williams” “Angels” was released as the fourth and final single from the album.
After the double success of her reality show and In This Skin, Simpson began to bank on her new-found popularity by releasing a line of edible beauty products called Dessert Beauty and Dessert Treats. She has also unleashed her own clothing line called JS, which is named after her own initials.
Jessica’s next album, And the Band Played On, is set to be released sometime in 2006. It has been described as having “a little bit of everything in it,” and it will sound like “Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Stevie Nicks — it’’s all over the place. But then there’’s songs for us girls to dance to in the club,” according to Simpson. Information has it that the lead single off the album will be “Fired Up,” a song written by Simpson and Scott Storch, who described the song as Jessica’’s “Dirrty.” It has been rumored that the track is to be produced by Lil” Jon. For the first time, Simpson has participated for much of the process of the creation of the album; she has registered a number of new songs on ASCAP.com and is also the executive producer of the album.
Jessica and Nick Lachey.On October 26, 2002 Simpson married Nick Lachey. Simpson famously announced that she remained a virgin until her wedding night, making Lachey the only man she had been with. During the summer of 2003, Simpson and husband Lachey’’s reality show Newlyweds began airing on MTV. Though Simpson was moderately famous before the series began, the show is considered responsible for transforming her into a star. However, on November 23, 2005, Simpson and Lachey officially announced their separation in a joint statement.
Throughout the run of three seasons, she often appeared as a stereotype of a dumb blonde, notably when she asked whether the Chicken of the Sea tuna she was eating was chicken or fish, and when she thought that buffalo wings were made from actual buffalo. Her apparent stupidity made the show a huge hit, making the average rating for each episode about 1.4 million viewers. When introduced to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Simpson responded: “You”ve done a nice job decorating the White House.”
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 on April 11, 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, further proving that Newlyweds had greatly strengthened her overall popularity. In 2005, the series won a People’’s Choice Award for Favorite Reality Show. Shortly after, Newlyweds wrapped.
Jessica in The Dukes Of Hazzard.During the summer of 2005, Simpson made her her big screen debut as Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard. The film debuted at number one in the box office charts, grossing more than thirty million USD. One of the tracks off the soundtrack for the film, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin”,” was sung by none other than Simpson. It peaked within in the top twenty in the U.S., but made it well into the top ten in other countries such as the U.K. and Australia, making it arguably Simpson’’s biggest international hit. The provocative music video for the single also earned itself quite a bit of media attention.
In the aftermath of Dukes, Simpson’’s fans noticed her buttocks flattening. Speculation abounded as to the cause of her disappearing behind. The general consensus is that it resulted from a change in diet and exercise regimen.
Jessica Simpson is also rumoured to become the next Bond Girl in the upcoming James Bond film, Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig as James Bond.
In November 2005, after months of speculation, Simpson and Lachey officially announced that they had separated, though reports stopped short of the couple indicating a divorce. However, later that month it was confirmed that they will indeed get a divorce. Nick and Jessica did not sign a prenuptial agreement, thus leaving Nick free to receive half of her net worth under California law. Last year alone she grossed $35 million dollars. Joint Statement
Released: November 23, 1999 (U.S.)
Chart Positions: #25 U.S., #36 U.K.
U.S. Sales: 2.1 Million
RIAA Certification: 2x Platinum
1999: “I Wanna Love You Forever” — #3 U.S., #7 U.K., #9 CAN
2000: “Where You Are” (featuring Nick Lachey) — #62 U.S.
2000: “I Think I”m in Love With You” — #21 U.S., #15 U.K., #1 CAN
Released: June 5, 2001 (U.S.)
Chart Positions: #6 U.S., #13 CAN
U.S. Sales: 800,000
RIAA Certification: Gold
2001: “Irresistible” — #15 U.S., #11 U.K., #16 CAN
2001: “A Little Bit”
Released: July 2, 2002 (U.S.)
U.S. Sales: N/A
RIAA Certification: Uncertified
Released: August 19, 2003 (U.S.) (Original)/ April 2, 2004 (U.S.) (Re-release)
Chart Positions: #2 U.S., #36 U.K.
U.S. Sales: 2.9 Million
RIAA Certification: 3x Platinum
2003: “Sweetest Sin”
2004: “With You” — #14 U.S., #7 U.K., #4 AUS
2004: “Take My Breath Away” — #20 U.S., #7 U.K., #4 AUS
2004: “Angels” — #106 U.S., #27 AUS
Released: November 23, 2004 (U.S.)
Chart Positions: #14 U.S.
U.S. Sales: 540,000
RIAA Certification: Gold
2004: “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”
2004: “What Christmas Means to Me”
Released: TBA (U.S.)
Chart Positions: TBD
U.S. Sales: TBD
RIAA Certification: TBD
2005: “These Boots Are Made for Walkin”” #14 U.S., #4 U.K., #2 AUS