Jessica Ann Simpson (born July 10,
1980) is an American singer, actress, and television personality who rose
to fame in the late 1990s. She has achieved seven Billboard Top 40 hits,
and has three gold and two multi-platinum RIAA-certified albums. Simpson
starred with her then-husband Nick Lachey in the MTV reality show
Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. She ventured into the country music market in
2008 and released Do You Know.
Simpson was born in Abilene, Texas, the daughter of Tina and Joe Truett
Simpson, who was a minister and psychologist. As a child, she began
singing at her local Baptist church. At age twelve, Simpson unsuccessfully
auditioned for The Mickey Mouse Club. While attending J.J. Pearce High
School, she signed to Proclaim Records, a minor Gospel music record label.
She recorded an album, self-titled, "Jessica", but Proclaim went bankrupt
and the album was never officially released except for a small pressing
funded by her grandmother. This small funding however gained her minor
attention and she gave concerts with other acts such as Kirk Franklin,
God's Property, and CeCe Winans. Simpson left high school at age sixteen
(she later earned her GED), and after Columbia Records executive Tommy
Mottola heard "Jessica", she was signed to the label.
Simpson released her first single, "I Wanna Love You Forever", which
peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999. Soon afterward her major
label debut album Sweet Kisses was released. To support the album, Simpson
toured with Ricky Martin and with boy band 98 Degrees, and she and 98
Degrees group member Nick Lachey began dating shortly afterwards. After
dating for two years, the couple cooled their relationship. After the
September 11 attacks, the couple reconciled. Simpson stated, "After 9/11,
I knew that I never ever wanted to be away from Nick ever for the rest of
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.
Although her debut album sold 2 million copies and 4 million worldwide,
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. The following year, Jessica came to
record her second album, executives pressured to she give a much more sexy
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 and stayed in the chart for 20 weeks. The single
reached its peak at #2 in Belgium and the Top 20 in the UK, Mexico,
Argentina, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Philippines and
Irresistible debuted at #6 in June 2001 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart,
with 127,000 copies sold in its first week and was certified Gold for
selling 500,000 copies in its fifth week. Irresistible has sold 825,000
copies to date in U.S. and 3,2 million copies worldwide. "A Little Bit"
was released as the second single from the album but did not enter the
In support of the album, Simpson toured mid-August, which was called
DreamChaser Tour, but due to the September 11 attacks could not complete
the planned dates.
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 at #2
with 157,000 copies in that week. It contained the song "Sweetest Sin",
which barely even made an impact on the Bubbling Under Hot 100. However,
the album did contain the hit singles "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. In December 2004, the album was certified 3x
Multi-Platinum by the RIAA.
Simpson also released Rejoyce: The Christmas Album in late 2004, which
peaked at #14 on the album chart and was later certified gold. Simpson
appeared on The Dukes of Hazzard 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 the General Lee car, while wearing a skin-tight,
revealing pink bikini. In some countries the video was banned for its
overtly sexual content.
In 2006, Simpson then returned to the recording studio, switching labels
from Columbia to Epic Records. On 29 August 2006, she released her fourth
album A Public Affair, the album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, with
101,000 copies sold in its first week, and spent 10 weeks on the
The first single from the album, bearing the same name "A Public Affair",
debuted at 39, her highest debut after "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'",
coming after the # 14 on the Hot 100, the single also hit number 1 on the
Hot Dance Club Play. Internationally, it reached the Top 10 in Canada,
Ireland and the Philippines. The video features appearances by Eva
Longoria, Christina Applegate, Christina Milian, Maria Menounos, Andy
Dick, and Ryan Seacrest. It became her most successful video on TRL,
peaking at 2 for 28 days. The second and final single from the album, was
"I Belong To Me", which won by a poll on its website. It was released on
September 26 and peaked at #110 in U.S. The single's video appeared on TRL
countdowns, but quickly fell off.
The album sold 300,000 copies in the U.S. and 800,000 worldwide, a low
figure compared with her previous albums.
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. Though Simpson was given the
chance to redo the song for cameras, her portion was edited out of the CBS
In September 2007, Simpson's father Joe Simpson stated to People magazine
that Simpson was considering doing a country album. Joe Simpson told
People that she is "talking about doing a country record and going back to
her roots, being from Texas."
"Come On Over", first leaked onto the internet on May 27, 2008. Shortly
after country radio stations around the country began giving the single
radio play. In the United States, "Come on Over" became the most-added
song to country radio for the week of June 6, 2008, debuting at number 41
on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It broke a record held by
Miranda Lambert ("Me and Charlie Talking") and Brad Cotter ("I Meant To")
for highest-debuting first chart entry by a solo artist; both artists
debuted at number 42 on that same chart. The video for the first single,
"Come On Over", premiered on Simpson's official website in July 2008. The
single peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. Prior to the
albums release Simpson performed at select state fairs and visited various
country music radio stations in order to promote the album. The country
album, entitled Do You Know, was released on September 9, 2008, The album
fully leaked onto the internet on August 28, 2008. The album debuted #1 on
the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in both the US and Canada. Giving
Simpson her first #1 album of her career. She opened for Rascal Flatts on
their "Bob That Head Tour" from January 17 through March 14, 2009. The
album's second single "Remember That" was released to country radio on
September 29, 2008. The single peaked at #42 on the Billboard Hot Country
Songs chart and dropped off the chart by the end of December 2008. The
album's third single was "Pray Out Loud", which failed to chart. On April
7, 2009 Simpson's rep confirmed with Us Weekly that she and label Sony
Nashville were parting ways.
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 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.
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. In
2005, Newlyweds won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Reality Show
before wrapping shortly after.
In the summer of 2005, Simpson made her first appearance in a motion
picture as Daisy Duke in the movie version of the television series 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 worldwide,
although it was much less financially successful outside the U.S.
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.
In December 2007, Luke Wilson co-starred with Simpson in her third film,
Blonde Ambition. The film opened in eight Texas (the home state of both
Simpson and Wilson) theaters and earned US$6,422. It was released on DVD
in January 2008.' Blonde Ambition' fared better overseas where it grossed
$253,008 in the Ukraine its opening weekend. Simpson's next movie, Major
Movie Star (later renamed Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous) was
released straight to DVD on February 3, 2009.
Us Weekly reports that Simpson recently visited some TV networks to pitch
a reality series about society's scrutiny of women's bodies. The premise
of the program, titled The Price of Beauty: "She and a friend set off on a
road trip around the world in search of what people find beautiful and
why". Simpson will be hands-on with the show—and will even try some of the
"shocking things that women do to make themselves beautiful". Simpson and
her father Joe Simpson will serve as executive producers. The show will
air sometime in 2010 on VH1.
Following in the footsteps of other female musicians, such as Cher and
Patti LaBelle, Simpson and stylist Ken Pavés launched a line of hair and
beauty products on the Home Shopping Network. Simpson also designs and
markets a line of handbags and (primarily high-heeled) shoes and boots.
She also plans to design lingerie including bras, panties, sleepwear and
daywear. Jessica Simpson's Intimates is set to be available in major
department stores and online shopping sites for spring 2009.
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 in 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.
Simpson has launched a fragrance line. Her fragrance was made by Parlux
Fragrances. Her debut perfume, Fancy, was launched in 2008.
A big fan of magic, Simpson has made several appearances acting as a
magician's assistant, taking part in a number of illusions. 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.
On October 26, 2002, at age 22, Simpson married Nick Lachey. She famously
announced she had remained a virgin until her marriage. 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, 2006.
Simpson 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.
The couple sold their Calabasas mansion, in which Newlyweds was filmed, to
Malcolm in the Middle star Justin Berfield for an undisclosed amount.
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."
Following her divorce, Simpson had an off-and-on relationship with
musician John Mayer. 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 Year's Eve 2006 party. The couple eventually parted ways
for good in May 2007.
In November 2007, Simpson began dating Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony
Romo. The relationship was controversial among some Dallas Cowboys fans,
as she was blamed when Romo had poor football performances. Some of the
Cowboy's fans gave her the nickname Yoko Romo in comparison to Yoko Ono
who many Beatles fans blame for "ruining" John Lennon. This was further
fueled when the Cowboys lost to the Giants in the divisional playoffs,
when Romo and Simpson went on a trip during the Cowboy's 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
Even President Bush jokingly endorsed the "Jessica jinx" after the Giants
went on to win the Super Bowl in 2008. During the traditional White House
reception for the winning team, the president quipped, "We're going to
send Jessica Simpson to the Democrat National Convention."
On July 13, 2009, People magazine reported that Romo and Simpson had ended
their relationship. A source close to the pop star told the magazine that
Romo broke up with Simpson on July 9 — the night before her 29th birthday.
"She is heartbroken," said the source. "She loves Tony. But it's been
difficult lately. He's busy with his career, and she's getting ready to
shoot her show (The Price of Beauty). They decided to part ways."