Kate's Notes

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Ann Simpson (born July 10, 1980 in Dallas, Texas) might be famous for being the "oldest" of the most-famous "pop queens" in music at that time (the others are Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Mandy Moore), but what really made her a household name was when Simpson starred along with her then-husband Nick Lachey in the MTV reality show “Newlyweds.” Her honest and ditzy persona became the endearing laughing stock of the nation, and after that she was a permanent fixture in the tabloid celebrity watch.

Simpson has also released her own line of beauty products called Dessert Beauty, and begun a career as an actress, appearing in her first feature film The Dukes of Hazard as the famed Daisy Duke, where she surprised audiences everywhere with how fit she had become in preparation for the role.

Early Life

Growing up in the small town of Richardson, her life was very complacent. Her father Joe was a psychologist who also served as youth minister in the local Baptist church. She also has a younger sister Ashley Simpson. With this background, it was only normal for young Jessica to participate in church activities and so she sang in the choir. Such was her gift that at the age of 12, she auditioned for The Mickey Mouse Club. Though the other members of the “Club” are now her contemporaries, she failed to land a part of the show.

Instead of continuing with an entertainment focus, she was a 1995 graduate of Richardson North Junior High in Richardson, Texas, and then Jessica later 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. She recorded an album over the next three years; however, the label folded before the record could be released.

Not about to give up in the face of adversity, Joe her father (and now her manager) took his daughter on the road, where they worked the Christian Youth Concert circuit. Jessica sang and then sold her home-recorded album after performances. She dropped out of high school 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 also 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 these performances.

Tommy Mottola of Columbia Records later obtained a copy of the album and, thinking she had potential as a pop singer, signed her to a recording contract.

1999-2001: Early Career

1999 saw the arrival of pop princesses Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera who each received multi-platinum success. Simpson’s label had hoped the same with her. As 1999 came to a close, Simpson released her first single "I Wanna Love You Forever" which became a big hit in the states and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Soon afterwards, her album Sweet Kisses was released to great sales. Simpson would tour with boy band 98 Degrees to support her new album. It was then when she met her future husband Nick Lachey and the two soon began dating. Unlike the other pop princesses, Simpson was very straight forward about her relationship with Lachey. She was also the first pop princess to admit that she was a virgin, and was waiting until marriage.

Meanwhile, her album Sweet Kisses had gone double platinum thanks to the success for her follow up singles "Where You are", a duet with her boyfriend Nick Lachey, and "I Think I'm In Love With You," the latter became Simpson's biggest radio hit at that point and was her first uptempo single to be released. Still, even with her debut album selling 2 million copies, her record label felt that she was still very much less successful than Britney and Christina, who'd gone on to become household names around the globe. It was then when Columbia Records decided that Jessica needed a change for her second album.

In 2001, Simpson's label helped her record her follow up album in which her record label wanted Simpson to sing more radio friendly up-tempo tracks and to lose weight in order to fit in with her competitors. The result in that was Irresistible, released in mid 2001 on the heels of the title track first single. The new sound and image helped make "Irresistible" a big hit on the radio, becoming one of the biggest hits of her career and peaking at #15 on the Hot 100. The album debut at #6 in June 2001 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. The album ended up selling 825,000 copies to date.

2002 - 2004: The MTV Reality with Nick Lachey

On October 26, 2002, then age 22, Jessica Simpson married Nick Lachey. Her wedding gown was designed by Vera Wang. She famously announced that she had remained a virgin until she did "it" on her wedding night.

During the summer of 2003, the reality show, “Newlyweds,” starring Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey began airing on MTV. Though she was successful before the series began, 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.

Later that summer, Simpson won three Teen Choice Awards; Female Fashion Icon, Choice Hottie Female, and Female Reality/Variety TV Star for Newlyweds.

Throughout the run of four seasons, Simpson epitomized the stereotypical dumb blonde, most notably when she asked Lachey whether the Chicken of the Sea tuna she was eating was in fact chicken or fish. She also indicated that she believed that buffalo wings were made from actual buffalo. Her ignorance helped turn the show into a huge hit, making the average rating for each episode about 1.4 million viewers while reaching a series peak of about 4 million viewers.

Though her mother has commented, that Simpson plays a dumb blonde on her hit TV show, but according to her interview in the August issue of Vanity Fair her I.Q is in the 160s. That would place her in the "genius" category.

Simpson's third album, In This Skin, was released in August of 2003 to coincide with the series premiere of "Newlyweds." It debuted at #10 on The Billboard 200 album chart with sales of just 64,000 in its first week. It rebounded after a special collectors' edition was released in April of 2004 and subsequently reached a peak of #2. It was eventually certified quadriple platinum, fueled largely by the couple’s television success on Newlyweds. It contained the hits "With You" (#14, 2004) and a cover of the Berlin song "Take My Breath Away" (#20, 2004).

The couple appeared in the television special “The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour” that aired in 2004 and drew comparisons to Sonny and Cher. 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.

Was picked as #1 on 'Maxim' top 100 hot list for 2004 and was voted #1 for VH1's Top Ten best bodies.

Film Projects

In 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, along side Johnny Knoxville, and Sean William Scott. The film debuted at #1 at the U.S. box-office performing well.

Simpson also appeared on the film's soundtrack, releasing "These Boots Are Made for Walkin" (#14, 2005) 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. A video was created for the song featuring Jessica as Daisy Duke. It shows scenes of her flirting and singing in a bar and then later washing her car in a pink string bikini. In many countries the video was banned for its overly sexual content.

Simpson's second film Employee of the Month was released October 6, 2006; it also starred comedian Dane Cook, and Dax Shepard of “Punkd” fame. She is currently shooting her third film titled Blonde Ambition (2007), which she will costar with Luke Wilson. The movie, due out in mid-2007, starts shooting November 27 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

2005: Divorce from Nick Lachey

Unfortunately, the much publicized divorce from Nick Lachey took time to work through. In November 2005, after months of tabloid speculation that Simpson was cheating on Lachey with multiple men, Simpson and her husband Nick Lachey officially announced their separation. Simpson filed for divorce on December 16, 2005, citing "irreconcilable differences". The couple's divorce was highly publicized worldwide and was reportedly finalized on June 30.

Jessica Simpson reportedly told Jane magazine in October 2006 that she knew her marriage to Nick 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 just a PR junket guided by her father/manager who accompanied her on that day.

On February 6, 2007 NewsMax.com reported that Jessica Simpson says she was stung when ex-husband Nick Lachey 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 magazine. "Two or three weeks later? Yeah, I'd say it kind of hurt me." Though much speculation surrounds how faithful she was even during her marriage to Lachey.

The couple reportedly sold their Calabasas mansion in which "Newlyweds" was filmed to "Malcolm in the Middle" star Justin Berfield for about $3.75 million.

Just recently an alleged X-rated home movie is said to have surfaced, which shows Simpson and Lachey engaged in a number of sex acts. According to reports the tape does exist and has fallen into the hands of the individuals responsible for leaking the Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sex video. It has been claimed that they are threatening to leak the tape if Jessica does not pay an undisclosed sum of money to keep it out of the public domain.

2006: A Public Affair

On June 30, 2006, Jessica and Nick's 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.

Jessica looked forward to going back in the studio to record her fourth coming album with her move to Epic Records from her previous label Columbia. She decided to switch labels because she wanted a new fresh start in music after her divorce. And ended a deal with MTV

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 words to the song she was singing, saying "I'm sorry Dolly, that made me so nervous." She explained that she had been feeling flustered during the performance (most likely because it was in front of many famous people, including Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and even President George W. Bush). Afterwards, during the final tribute to Parton, Parton's "biggest fan" Reese Witherspoon gave a tearful Simpson a hug to make her feel better. Though Simpson was given the opportunity to redo the song for cameras at the end of the show to include in the CBS telecast, she was not satisfied with her second performance either, and she and producers ultimately agreed to edit her portion out of the TV broadcast of the show.

As her "A Public Affair" album is certified Gold though domestic is slightly less then 300,000 copies, she will take the record to the UK and promote it there before returning to America to possibly release future singles from the album. Simpson is due in the studio to begin working with producers such as Jim Jonsin, Timbaland, Drew Lane, Eddie Galan, and Stargate.
Other Mediums

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 Paves and trained by HSN's first ever home shopping host Bob Circosta, Simpson sells clip-in hair extensions over the air. Hairdo-brand Salon Clip-In Hair from Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves. She weirs his creations out frequently, changing her look from a blond, to a red head, to a brunette almost every night.

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, the "number 1 acne treatment in America". In 2006, she premiered another Pizza Hut commercial in the Super Bowl. She sung 'These Bites Are Made For Poppin' in reference to 'These Boots Are Made For Walking'. This was to advertise the new Cheesy Bites Pizza. In 2007, in the Super Bowl yet again premiered her third Pizza Hut commercial, in which she again advertised the Cheesy Bites Pizza. She has also advertised HDTV in character as Daisy Duke.

Personal Life

Jessica received a good deal of publicity in the aftermath of her marriage to Nick Lachey. However, she was still marred by rumors of infidelity and was reportedly linked to her Employee of the Month co-star Dane Cook and The Dukes of Hazzard co-star Johnny Knoxville. During the marriage, several reports of a one night stand with Augusta Lee surfaced which both denied at the time. Recently Michael Patti went on Howard Stern's radio show to "admit the truth" of those rumors. Lachey has never stood up against reports that Jessica cheated, saying that he didn't know whether the rumors were true, and he chose not to ask her about them.

In addition, there was a persistent rumor that Simpson had slept with JackAss star Bam Margera. Margera's former fiance, Jenn Rivell, told a Pennsylvania radio show in 2005 that Simpson and Margera had sex while the pop star was still married to Nick Lachey. At the time, Bam's father Phil Margera also told Philadelphia radio deejays "Preston + Steve" his son admitted bedding Simpson. Stern interrogated Margera on his show, asking about the night the two spent together while she was filming The Dukes of Hazzard with his Jackass co-star Johnny Knoxville. Margera said the relationship was blown out of proportion, but admitted he "bumped into Simpson", which caused his fellow Jackass co-star Steve-O to say suggestively, "Yeah, BUMPED into her!" Margera claims they "wound up at her parents house drinking margaritas and it went from there" and said afterwards he "left at eight in the morning". When Stern asked Margera if Simpson looked good naked, he said she had a personal trainer for the film adding, "Yeah, she looked good. I can't deny that!"

Jessica's rep has repeatedly denied that she has dated anyone since her break-up with Lachey. 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.

It has been reported that Simpson had recently gone on a date with Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo, although it was later confirmed by TMZ that it was leaked by Jessica's father and that the two had never met.

Numerous public appearances together suggest that Simpson is dating John Mayer, though neither has confirmed the nature of the relationship. Rumors kicked into high gear when Mayer and Simpson spent New Year's holiday together in New York City, both attending Christina Aguilera's New Years Eve 2006 party, with reports indicating that the two were very publicly affectionate. Simpson has also been accompanying John on his tour that kicked off January 25, 2007. Simpson has confirmed that she is not in a serious relationship with Mayer, but insisting that she is good friends with him; however at the 2007 Grammy’s they appeared like a complete and committed couple.

Just recently an alleged X-rated home movie is said to show Simpson and Lachey engaged in a number of sex acts. According to reports the tape does exist and has fallen into the hands of the individuals responsible for leaking the Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sex video. It has been claimed that they are threatening to leak the tape if Jessica does not pay an undisclosed sum of money to keep it out of the public domain.

Charity Work

International Youth Ambassador for Operation Smile since 2003, which provides free reconstructive surgery to tens of thousands of children and young adults in 25 developing countries and the United States.

The charity reached pop star Jessica Simpson through her celebrity hairdresser, Ken Paves. Paves took the opportunity to show her an Operation Smile video, and after months of quiet courting, Simpson became Operation Smile’s international youth ambassador. According to the organization, she has generated $4 million in television news coverage alone.

Simpson also belongs to SixDegrees.org, which was started by Kevin Bacon in partnership with Network for Good. SixDegrees.org is a social network with a social conscience, the website offers a place to learn about and support the favourite charities of friends and celebrities, as well as fundraise for individual causes.

She also supports the Skin Cancer Foundation.


Post a Comment

<< Home