She has achieved seven Billboard Top 40 hits, three gold and two multi-platinum
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified studio
albums, four of which have reached the top 10 on the US Billboard
200. 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.
Jessica Ann Simpson was born in Abilene, Texas. She is the daughter of Tina Ann (née Drew), a homemaker, and Joseph "Joe" Truett Simpson, a minister and psychologist. Her mother is of English American and Native American descent, while her father is Scottish American. She has a younger sister, Ashlee, who is also a singer.
Simpson first developed and nurtured her talent in her local Baptist church, where her father also worked as the congregation's youth minister. At age twelve, she unsuccessfully auditioned for The Mickey Mouse Club. While attending a church camp, at the age of 13, Simpson sang Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You and an arrangement of Amazing Grace.
One of the camp's visitors was launching a Gospel music record label and saw great promise and profits in her voice. It was during this time, while attending J. J. Pearce High School, Simpson signed to Proclaim Records, a minor Gospel music record label. She recorded an album, Jessica, but Proclaim went bankrupt and the album was never officially released except for a small pressing funded by her grandmother. This small pressing gained her minor attention which led her to performing at concerts with other gospel legendary acts such as Kirk Franklin, God's Property, and CeCe Winans.
When she was sixteen years old, Columbia Records
executive Tommy Mottola heard Jessica, he was impressed with Simpson’s
musical talent and skill. Mottola instantly thought Simpson sounded
like Mariah Carey. Simpson was immediately signed to the label.
She dropped out of high school but later earned her GED.
Simpson released her first single, "I Wanna Love You Forever", which peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999, and reached the top ten in ten countries. Soon afterwards, her major label debut album Sweet Kisses was released. Although, she was classified in the teen pop sensation genre, unlike other female teen stars competitors like Britney Spears and Mandy Moore, Simpson truly had a very powerful luscious voice beyond her years. To support the album's release, Simpson toured with Ricky Martin, Destiny's Child, and with boy band 98 Degrees.
Meanwhile, Simpson's album Sweet Kisses had gone double platinum, helped by the 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. Her debut album sold 2 million copies in US. Columbia Records officials reportedly decided Simpson needed a change for her second album. The following year, when Simpson came to record her second album, executives pressured her to have a much more sexy image.
In 2000, Simpson started recording the follow-up to Sweet Kisses, with what Columbia considered more radio-friendly, up-tempo tracks. The sophomore album, titled Irresistible, was released in mid-2001 on the heels of the title-track first single. "The title track" became one of the biggest hits of her career; it peaked at number fifteen on the Hot 100 and stayed in the chart for twenty weeks. It managed to reach the top forty in some other countries it charted. In addition, it led to the attention of record producer Jermaine Dupri of So So Def Recordings to remix the song within a Hip-Hop—tinged genre style which featured rap artist Lil Bow Wow.
Irresistible debuted at number 6 in June 2001
on the Billboard 200 chart, with 127,000 copies sold in
its first week. It was later certified Gold by the Recording
Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling or shipments
of 500,000 copies or more. Irresistible has sold 850,000 copies
in the US, to date. In order to support the album,
Simpson went on her first headlining tour, called the DreamChaser
Tour, in mid-August, but due to the September 11, 2001 attacks
could not complete the planned dates.
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.
In This Skin, debuted at number ten on the Billboard 200, with sales of 64,000 in its first week. But, it rebounded after a special collectors' edition was released in April 2004, and subsequently reached a peak of number 2. 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" (No. 14, 2004) and a cover of the Berlin song "Take My Breath Away" (No. 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 three times multi-Platinum by the RIAA. According to Simpson's biography, the album has sold 4 million copies in US, to date.
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 late 2004, Simpson released her first Christmas album titled Rejoyce: The Christmas Album . It peaked at number fourteen on the Billboard 200 chart and was later certified gold by the RIAA. Simpson appeared on The Dukes of Hazzard soundtrack, releasing "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'", a cover of the 1966 Nancy Sinatra. The song peaked at number fourteen 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, wearing a skin-tight, revealing pink bikini. In some countries the video was banned for its overtly sexual content. 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."
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
No. 1 at the box office its opening weekend, and grossed $30.7
million on 3,785 screens. It also had an adjusted-dollar rank of
No. 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.
In 2006, Simpson returned to the recording studio, switching labels from Columbia to Epic Records. On 29 August 2006, she released her fifth studio album A Public Affair. The album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, with 101,000 copies sold in its first week. The album sold 300,000 copies in the US, a low figure compared to her previous albums. The first single from the album, bearing the same name "A Public Affair", debuted at number thirty-nine, her highest debut after "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'", and reached a peak of number fourteen on the Hot 100. It also hit number 1 on the Hot Dance Club Play, becoming Simpson's first number one single on the chart. Internationally, it reached the top ten in Canada and Ireland. The video featured appearances by actresses Eva Longoria and Christina Applegate, singer Christina Milian, Maria Menounos, Andy Dick, and Ryan Seacrest.
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 number 4 just behind Open Season. 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 broadcast.
In December 2007, Simpson co-starred with Luke
Wilson in her third film, Blonde Ambition. The film opened in eight
theaters in Texas (the home state of both Simpson and Wilson),
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.
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 forty-one 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 forty-two 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 number eighteen 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. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in both the US and Canada, giving Simpson her first number 1 album of her career. She opened for Rascal Flatts on their "Bob That Head Tour" from January 17 through March 14, 2009.
Simpson's next movie, Major Movie Star (later
renamed Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous) was released straight
to DVD on February 3, 2009. On April 7, 2009 Simpson's rep
confirmed with US Weekly that she and label Sony Nashville were
Simpson's VH1 documentary series, The Price of Beauty, began airing in March 2010. The series followed Simpson around the world, introducing viewers to the different perceptions of beauty in different cultures. The premiere episode attracted one million viewers, but Simpson revealed that the series would return in 2011 with a format change. Initially, Simpson planned to release a new studio album that would end her contract with her label, Epic Records. However, a greatest hits compilation, Playlist: The Very Best of Jessica Simpson, was released in late October instead. Simpson's second holiday album, Happy Christmas, released under Primary Wave in November. The album featured production from Tricky Stewart and The-Dream and was promoted with a television special on PBS, Jessica Simpson: Happy Christmas.
In June 2011, it was announced that Simpson participated
as a mentor in NBC's new reality show Fashion Star with Elle McPherson.
In July 2011, she appeared on Fashion Star alongside Nicole Richie.
"Jessica Simpson Dessert by Jessica Simpson" was launched in April, 2004 after co-founders Randi Shinder and Simpson designed a line of edible perfume, lip gloss and other beauty products under the Dessert Beauty brand. A parallel line named Dessert Treats was launched the following year in February, 2005. The new line was marketed at a much younger audience.
Simpson and stylist Ken Pavés launched a line of hair and beauty products on the Home Shopping Network. Simpson also created the Jessica Simpson Collection (JSC) in which she designs and markets a line of handbags and (primarily high-heeled) shoes and boots. JSC is projected to become the first celebrity brand to break $1 billion in annual sales, and will launch an e-commerce beauty site with celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy, BeautyMint, on October 31, 2011. The Jessica Simpson's Intimates began selling in major department stores and online shopping sites in spring 2009.
Simpson has launched a fragrance line. Her fragrance
was made by Parlux Fragrances. Her debut perfume, Fancy, was launched
in 2008. The success of Fancy spawned three more fragrances, Fancy
Love, Fancy Nights and I Fancy You.
Simpson has made commercials for Pizza Hut, Proactiv
Solution and a commercial with Ice Breakers with her sister Ashlee.
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
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 won a Chrysler
Crossfire sports car at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, but exchanged
the $50,000 luxury car for a minivan so she could help the orphanage.
Simpson endorsed George W. Bush for president in 2004, but was later said to have "snubbed" him by canceling an appearance at a 2006 Republican fundraiser in Washington, D.C.. Manager Joe Simpson said that even though he and Jessica are "big supporters" of the president, who had invited them, they felt it was inappropriate to attend a political fundraiser.
In June 2008, Simpson was seen with boyfriend Tony Romo wearing a shirt that said "Real Girls Eat Meat". It was seen as a slam at Romo's ex-girlfriend Carrie Underwood, who is a vegetarian.
On July 19, 2008, Simpson performed at the Country
Thunder Festival in Wisconsin. She was booed by the crowd and received
a poor reception from country music critics. She responded
by saying, "I don't know what your perception is of Jessica Simpson or what tabloid you buy,
but I just want you to know that I'm just a girl from Texas; I’m
just like you. I'm doing what I love and dating a boy."
After a three-year courtship, Simpson married Nick Lachey on October 26, 2002. She famously announced she had remained a virgin until her marriage. In November 2005, Simpson and Lachey announced they were separating. Simpson filed for divorce on December 16, 2005, citing "irreconcilable differences." Their divorce was finalized on June 30, 2006.
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 Cowboys' fans gave her the nickname "Yoko Romo" in comparison to Yoko Ono, who many Beatles fans blame for "ruining" John Lennon. Even then-President George W 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, President Bush quipped, "We're going to send Jessica Simpson to the Democrat National Convention." On July 13, 2009, People reported that Romo and Simpson had ended their relationship.
In May 2010, Simpson began dating former NFL player
Eric Johnson. On November 14, 2010, Simpson announced her engagement
to Johnson. On October 19, 2011 OK! reported that she is pregnant
with their first child. After much media speculation, on October
31, 2011, Simpson confirmed that she and Johnson are expecting
their first child.
Sweet Kisses (1999)
DreamChaser Tour (2001)
MTV TRL Tour (2001)
Heat It Up Tour (98 Degrees) (2000)
Kemet & Maat
: before Judaism, Christianity and Islam