“I’m a simple girl in a complex world,” sings 19-year-old Ashlee Simpson on a track aptly titled “Autobiography” from her debut Geffen Records album Pieces of Me. But that doesn’t begin to sum up this multi-talented performer’s accomplishments at her tender age. With a regular role as Cecilia in WB’s hit TV Seventh Heaven , the upcoming Ashlee reality series on MTV and debut album bowing in July, Ashlee is about to emerge from the shadows. “I’ve always been obsessed with music,” says Ashlee, who adds that her tastes—along with her album—are not at all like older sister Jessica’s. “We’re into totally different bands and artists.” Produced by John Shanks (Michele Branch, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morrissette, Unwritten Law), the new album has elements of rock, punk, and pop, recalling Ashlee’s own favorite bands—ranging from Janis Joplin and Steve Nicks to Pat Benatar, the Pretenders and Blondie through Fiona Apple, Hole and Green Day. Ashlee co-wrote every song on the album. “I just wanted to go in and make a record and not worry about what genre it would be,” she says. “I went in to have a good time and did. It’s a rock record, with a cool edge to it. It’s the first time people are getting to hear what I sound like.” The first single, “Pieces of Me,” is a full-throttle rocker about a best friend who brings comfort at the end of a long, stressful day of work. “It’s like a sigh,” she says. “When I finally see him, all the other dramas fade away.”
“Autobiography” plays around with her public image, daring those who want to know her to walk up and “baby just ask me.” The tongue-in-cheek rave-up “LaLa” is about sexual fantasies, with Ashlee role-playing as an alley cat and a French maid, but all in fun. “There’s a lot of sarcasm in that song,” she says. “It’s something every girl thinks about, so I decided to make a joke about it. It’s one of the songs you can dance around to.”
The Waco, TX-born Ashlee has been dancing since she was three, and by 11, she was the youngest person ever admitted into the prestigious School of American Ballet. She moved to L.A. with her parents and Jessica when she was 14, pursuing an acting career and dancing in her sister’s stage show, but dreaming of doing music all the while.
She went on to make appearances on Malcolm in the Middle and The View before landing a regular role in Seventh Heaven. Last year, she had the track “Just Let Me Cry” on Disney’s Freaky Friday soundtrack, and then began recording earlier this year on breaks from filming the TV show.
“I’ve been working on the album for five months now, and I’m just so excited for it to come out,” she says. “I feel like it’s very true to who I am. I was there every step of the way. My acting experience really helped me get into the characters of the songs and be in the moment with them. I was able to go back to the events I’m singing about and bring them to life.”
Coinciding with the release of the new album, Ashlee is also starring in her own MTV reality series, which will track her through the whole process.
“Jessica said she couldn’t believe I was doing a show also,” she laughs. “Now, when I come over, I bring over my cameras, while there’s always a crew around her house. It’s actually quite funny. Jess taught me it’s cool to be yourself.”
With the album done, Ashlee looks back and calls the experience “therapeutic.” “Anything I held on my shoulders, I got to put it out there. It enabled me to find out who I am, to discover my identity in the world.”
The world is set to learn all about the latest multimedia Simpson star on both disc and TV.
Ashlee Simpson Cleans Up Her Act After House Purchase
SLOBBERY PROMPTED DOUBTS IN SIMPSON'S HOME PURCHASE
Pop star ASHLEE SIMPSON was hesitant about buying her first home - because she's lived like a slob in rented accommodations.
The PIECES OF ME singer, younger sister of JESSICA SIMPSON, recently purchased a home in Studio City, California, which she's sharing with two pals, but she admits she thought long and hard before making the commitment.
She says, "I wouldn't have bought the house without going to my parents and being like, 'Okay, do you think I'm ready?' They were like, 'Yeah, you can do it, you just can't live how you have been in your apartment.'
"I was living like a fraternity boy. It was bad. There were like potato chips under the couch and my parents were, 'You have to be clean!'"
Ashlee Simpson Soldiers On, Like Always, Through Tour-Launch Snafus
Singer's first tour kicked off Wednesday night in Anaheim, California.
Seconds after Ashlee Simpson took the stage for the first night of her first tour on Wednesday night, one of her guitarists' straps ripped mid-twirl and his six-string shot across the stage.
Apparently this girl just can't get a break.
However, as she's done with her much larger performance snafus of the past (see "Ashlee Simpson Shrugs Off Orange Bowl Booing" and "Ashlee Simpson's 'SNL' Excuse Bolstered By Rehearsal Tape"), Ashlee soldiered on through her opening number, "Autobiography" (minus a guitarist), and never looked back.
In black slacks and a white tuxedo jacket (one of six outfits she would wear throughout her hour-long show), Simpson paced the stage, singing with a vengeance while the sold-out Grove of Anaheim audience bopped along.
Segueing into "Nothing New" with the help of her five-piece band, complete with a keyboardist/backing vocalist ("My best friend Lucy," as she would introduce her later), Ashlee bounced around like a pinball, an energy level she would maintain for most of the show.
"This song is about self-appreciation," Simpson said as she took a breather before "Love Me for Me." "I've gone through a lot lately and I learned that you make your mistakes and people like you guys will always love you if you stray true to yourself."
The crowd roared in support, which seemed to feed Ashlee's confidence, as her singing got more aggressive with each song.
After "Love for Me," Ashlee kept on the same theme, delivering her single "Shadow" while the video aired out of sync on the big screen behind her. Although distracting at times, the screens proved to be a popular attraction earlier as they featured a collection of Ashlee's personal photos. (Who knew she once looked like big sister Jessica?)
Next, Simpson (now in a fedora and vest) treated fans to a track from the European version of Autobiography called "Harder Everyday," which was written with Goldfinger's John Feldmann and had a bit of a punk edge. "Two a.m. and I'm pacing around the floor," she sang as she acted out the lyric.
"Undiscovered" followed, bringing the singer to a more emotional place. "I had my heart broken so long ago, but I still feel emotional when I sing that one," she said.
Ashlee then embarked on a short intimate set that featured parts of "Giving It All Away," "Love Makes the World Go Round" and an unreleased track called "Hollywood," a simple ballad about moving from Texas to Los Angeles.
After leaving for another costume change, Simpson returned in a white denim vest, ready to rock out again for "Surrender," during which she added a few lines from Hole's "Celebrity Skin."
She more than made up for the tease of the cover by playing a medley of "some of the songs that influenced me," which included the Pretenders' "Brass in Pocket," Blondie's "Call Me" (which was the one and only tune of the night that sounded like it had a backing track behind it) and Madonna's "Burning Up."
For the finale, Ashlee donned a different fedora, which she tossed off early into "La La." Perhaps because it was the song that got her booed at the Orange Bowl or maybe it's just a hard one to sing, but Simpson seemed to struggle through it a bit, relying on the audience for singing support for the first time of the night.
The encore began with a video of what was probably the only dance from 2004 more memorable than Ashlee's "Saturday Night Live" jig: Napoleon Dynamite's auditorium show (from last year's movie "Napoleon Dynamite"). With the crowd still laughing up a storm, Simpson returned in a white dress for a version of "Pieces of Me" that was easily the crowd favorite and, perhaps more notably, without catastrophe. Finally.
Ashlee's Secret Midnight Rendezvous With Wilmer
Ashlee Simpson is making midnight moves on pop rival Lindsay Lohan's ex Wilmer Valderrama.
La La singer Simpson took a 30 mile drive out of Los Angeles with her assistant last week just to meet up with the That 70s Show star on the desert set of his new movie La Muerto.
And, after hugging and holding hands for 30 minutes, the couple disappeared into Valderrama's trailer to enjoy a midnight feast of burgers and fries.
A set spy says, "There was no kissing but the way they greeted each other and then cuddled, there was no mistaking that Wilmer and Ashlee are more than just buddies."
"Why else would someone drive all the way out of LA in the middle of the night to join someone unless there was more to it than just a friendly visit."
Valderrama has been single since splitting from Lohan last October and Simpson has been keen to play down her on-off romance with pop star Ryan Cabrera.
But Ashlee isn't the only woman on Wilmer's mind - in a recent interview he confessed his dream date would be with either Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie or Lucy Liu.
Ashlee Simpson Hosting Benefit Auction
Ashlee Simpson and Teen People magazine have put together an auction to benefit UNICEF's relief and recovery efforts for the young victims of the Dec. 26 Asian earthquake and tsunami disaster.
Simpson asked her friends to collect unique items that are being auctioned on eBay until Monday afternoon (5 p.m. EST). Proceeds will benefit the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
"The tsunami and its aftermath have affected everyone, and I couldn't imagine sitting silent and not doing anything to help. I approached Teen People to partner with me to raise money to help everyone affected by this disaster," the 20-year-old singer said in a statement Wednesday.
The auction includes phone calls from stars such as Chad Michael Murray and Shane West; concert experiences with Simpson and New Found Glory; autographed merchandise from Jessica Simpson, Good Charlotte and Nicky Hilton; and sports memorabilia.
Ashlee Simpson promises a `stripped down' first tour
Ashlee Simpson is amped about her upcoming tour — but doesn't want to talk about her embarrassing "Saturday Night Live" or Orange Bowl appearances.
Simpson turned up Monday at the Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Male Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street. Simpson, the magazine's Fun Fearless Female of the Year, adorns the February cover.
"It's really stripped down," Simpson told The Associated Press about her first solo tour. "There's no pyro(technics) or anything like that. The stage has a mud kind of feel, you know, black and white. The thing about my tour is it's going to be me and my band getting out there and having fun."
Of course. But will there be costume changes?
"Little ones here and there," said Simpson. "I'll be taking off jackets and that kind of stuff."
Simpson was sure the tour, which kicks off Feb. 16 at the Grove of Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif., would include a few covers and rearranged tunes from her debut album, "Pieces of Me." But the 20-year-old was unsure about why Cosmo picked her as the Fun Fearless Female of the Year.
"Oh wow. I don't know," said Simpson. "I love to have a great time. I'm not really scared of many things at all. I've been that way since I was a little girl."
After tackling acting and performing, Simpson, who appears on the Cosmo cover in a strappy red dress, would like to dabble in fashion, but she hasn't cut any patterns just yet.
"I would love to do a fashion line," said Simpson. "I'm gonna start to look into that. I have my own kind of style. And I'd love to put a line out."
'Cosmopolitan' honors the 'fun and fearless' in NYC
It was a frisky lunch honoring Cosmopolitan magazine's annual "fun, fearless" celebs, and for the first time, the focus is on 10 guys.
But the center of attention Monday was Cosmo's February female cover subject: Ashlee Simpson . The multiplatinum-selling singer, who was caught using backing tracks on Saturday Night Live in October and was booed at the Orange Bowl last month, kicks off a tour Feb. 16.
She has a message for her detractors: "I'm enjoying what I'm doing and having a great time. I'm not listening to anything. It's nice to get out there and play."
The afternoon's fearless theme fit her situation, she said. With critics bashing her vocal ability, "I've had to do a lot of things that you could definitely be afraid of. I've stepped up to the plate and not been worried about anything."
Now, she's "stepping up and going, 'Here I am.' "
The Juicy Couture-clad Simpson, who was dubbed "Fun, Fearless Female" of the year, was joined at Cipriani restaurant by Y-chromosomed co-honorees: Las Vegas' Josh Duhamel, who was pictured on Cosmo's inside cover, and fellow actors Kevin Bacon , Benjamin McKenzie, David Spade and Drew Lachey ; American Idol's Simon Cowell; CNN anchor Bill Hemmer; and style guru Carson Kressley. Honorees Taye Diggs and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs did not attend.
McKenzie, who plays the brooding Ryan on Fox's The O.C., said his character would "start getting a little bit darker. The plotline will involve him getting in a little bit more trouble and turning into a little bit of a bad boy."
Lachey, who stars in Broadway's Rent, said reports of trouble between his brother Nick and his wife, Jessica Simpson , are "garbage. You have to laugh at it. There's no truth to any of it."
As for Cowell, he said he's surprised to have been selected to be part of the group.
"I would never describe myself as fun. Sometimes fearless. And definitely a male. I think I'm here because someone else couldn't make it. Seriously!''
Ashlee Simpson, queen of teens
Hot girl. Hot new season, except among 12-17s. It would only make perfect sense that Ashlee Simpson’s success and the success of her MTV show stem mainly from her teen fans. She is indeed so teeny. There was her stint on “7th Heaven,” her appearances on “TRL” and the fact that she herself just turned 20 in October. She's several years younger than big sis Jessica. But it's simply not the case. Season two of MTV’s “The Ashlee Simpson Show” debuted last week, and it turns out the singer is hot with just about everyone but viewers 12-17. They are not watching in droves.
"Ashlee" ranked No. 4 for the week in MTV’s target 12-34 audience, attracting 2.07 million viewers. That put it right behind its lead-in, sister Jessica’s “Newlyweds,” whose season premiere brought in 2.4 million. Similarly, among viewers 12-24, “Ashlee” finished No. 5 on cable last week (1.33 million), right behind “Newlyweds’” No. 3 finish (1.58 million). Yet among 12-17s, it’s quite a different story. The “Newlyweds” premiere finished No. 8 among teens, bringing in 653,000 viewers. But “Ashlee” lost 21.2 percent of that demo, pulling in 514,000 12-17s and not even cracking the top 20.
One almost hesitates to ponder why teens adore Jessica but have chilled on Ashlee. Maybe Ashlee’s teen fans are still upset about the whole “Saturday Night Live” lip-syncing fiasco. Maybe they prefer a little more conflict in their reality fare a la “The Real World” or the oft-bickering “Newlyweds.” Or maybe seeing Ashlee booed off the stage at the Orange Bowl was taken as a signal that the younger sister is about to become yesterday's pop news.
But actually, it turns out teens never particularly cared much for Ashlee in the first place.
Back in July, during the first season of her show, all four episodes of “Ashlee” made the top 20 for the entire month on cable among viewers 12-34. Not one of those episodes made the top 20 among teens.
In August, the lone episode of “Ashlee” that aired finished the month in the top 10 on cable among viewers 18-34 but failed to show up in the top 20 among 12-17s.
Is there deeper meaning to be read into all of this?
Certainly some. It suggests that the younger sister's career isn't as promising as it appeared in the summer when her show showed steady gains on her older sister's. If you're a dud with teens and you're on MTV, you've got a problem.
It also suggests that even the star-creating machine that is MTV has its limits, and passing the less-talented Ashlee off as a singer may be one of them. Having seen her star rise over the summer, might we now see it flutter, flicker, fumble and fall in these dark winter months? Worse destinies have befallen finer talents.
Elsewhere among young viewers, Fox’s “American Idol” was dominant in just about every demo last week, its second of the season. Two episodes of “Idol” finished Nos. 1 and 2 on all of broadcast and cable in every demo—total viewers, 18-49s, 18-34s, 18-24s, 12-24s, 12-17s and 9-14s—except one, 2-11s, in which it finished No. 1 and No. 3.
In that demo, an episode of Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” snuck into the No. 2 spot, attracting 2.88 million kids 2-11.
Ashlee Simpson buys a house
Ashlee Simpson has bought her first home, in Studio City, California, which she's sharing with two of the girls who appeared as her friends in her video for "La La." "It's so much fun," she recently told MTV Europe. "We've been decorating it and everything, it's kinda got like a retro
vibe. Hopefully when I'm home next month, I'll be able to do some work around the house. I am the messiest in the house, by far. My girlfriends are messy, too, but I win. I take the cake!" ...
Simon Cowell Trashes Beyonce, Defends Ashlee Simpson
Cranky American Idol judge Simon Cowell thinks Beyonce is overrated and that Ashlee Simpson (news) has been criticized unfairly. Cowell tells Esquire, "I find the whole Beyonce thing really mystifying. She's not sexy, she hasn't got a great body and she's not a great singer."
Cowell defended Ashlee Simpson's decision to use a backing track instead of singing live on Saturday Night Live last October. He said, "Why should you have to do something substandard just for the sake of being real? If it sounds better with the vocal you recorded, why shouldn't people listen to that? There's almost a witch-hunt mentality about people miming."
In his biography, I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But... Cowell admits that his first target for criticism was his mother. Cowell says that at age 4 he looked at his mother's white fuzzy pillbox hat and remarked "Mum, you look like a poodle."
Ashlee Simpson is breaking out from her big sister's shadow
MTV's Wednesday night reality block — with "Newlyweds" leading into "The Ashlee Simpson Show" — helps give Ashlee a good position on the air, but also ensures endless comparisons to her famous sis. The only way Ashlee can truly separate herself from Jessica is by showing just how different she is, in both how she sings and how she manages her own career.
Ashlee's more of a rocker than her sister, but this has also made her start a little more rocky; she's criticized on the show for sounding too much like Courtney Love and not enough like Hilary Duff, or so she thinks. And in the midst of this, she's balancing the end of her romance with a boyfriend of two years (resulting in "Unreachable") and the start of a new one with singer/songwriter Ryan Cabrera (inspiring her first single, "Pieces of Me"). Even Jessica gets a song via Ashlee's second single, "Shadow." With so many people in her life ending up in her songs, it's no wonder she's calling the LP Autobiography. Ashlee talks about making the album, making the show and making her way.
MTV: What was it like trying to write your album with the cameras on you all the time?
Ashlee Simpson: There's extra pressure because you're like, "OK, I'm trying to lay my heart down and they're right there." It's kind of weird.
MTV: You co-wrote a lot of the songs on the record.
Simpson: I did a song called "Unreachable" with Stan [Frazier] from Sugar Ray and Steve Fox. I've been a huge fan of Sugar Ray for a while, so that was cool. I co-wrote with the guys from Good Charlotte and John Feldmann from Goldfinger and that was fun. I did three songs with them. It's just fun to collaborate with people that are like, artists, and kind of have a different perspective.
MTV: Usually, the younger sibling discovers a lot of their musical tastes from their older brothers or sisters, but you're more into rock than Jessica.
Simpson: We're different in a lot of ways. We can look at the same outfit and I'll rip the shirt up and do all that kind of stuff, where she's very glam. And Jessica loves music like Mariah Carey, and that's really what she used to listen to when we were growing up. So I would just go find records or listen to the radio, and be like, "Oh, who's this? Who's that?" I love Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, Deborah Harry, Chrissie Hynde, these women who were sexy and rocked and they just had this strong characteristic about them. Tough girls. I like that. They had something to say, and I like it when people really do speak truly, and I hope people hear that in my record.
MTV: Why do you think there aren't as many strong women in rock today?
Simpson: You know, it's sad, because I miss seeing that. I mean, I love Gwen Stefani, I'm a huge fan of Courtney Love, but I'd like to see a good rocker. But I don't know why there's less women right now. I was probably like 11 years old when I went to the Lilith Fair and I saw Jewel and Joan Osborne, and I was like, "I want to be like them." And I used to love Joan Osborne, but for some reason, my parents didn't want me to listen to her, because she was religiously... she was making a statement. But it's interesting, because whenever I look to who I look up to as a role model, I do go back to the '80s. Women need to step up (laughs).
MTV: Your family is a big influence on you — how much of your family are we going to see on the show?
Simpson: I think you're definitely going to see a lot of my family. My dad is my manager and my mom is my best friend in the whole world. My dad and I, we'll like go head to head and fight. I have to admit it, and sometimes I don't want to, but I think that I'm him (laughs). Me and my dad are very strong-minded and what we say is how we feel and we're not going left or right of it. But two seconds later after a fight, I'm like, "Daddy, I love you! I'm so sorry!" Because we love each other at the end of the day, and I know even if I want to fight him for something, I know that he's not out to get me.
MTV: What is it about the Simpson family that makes the daughters so camera-friendly? You're both so willing to put your lives out on display, where a lot of people would be nervous or shy.
Simpson: My mom has really taught us to be ourselves and individual people, which is very cool. If I want my hair to be orange, she can go, "Oh God, don't dye your hair orange," but she lets me express myself however I want. So if I was to get a tattoo, I think that she probably wouldn't love it, but she knows that it's me and I'm gonna do what I wanna do (laughs). I think my mom raised me and Jessica very free and open and not really feeling like we had anything to hide.
MTV: Your next single, "Shadow," is about Jessica ...
Simpson: It's about my sister and it's about finding my identity and finding who I am as a person and what it is that I'm gonna be and all that kind of stuff. There was a while where I felt I was so sorry for everything and I was just like, "Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" And basically, it's like I'm stepping up and saying I have nothing to be sorry for, you know what I mean? It's about coming into my own.
MTV: What do you think of "Newlyweds"? Did you learn anything from it or do you feel like you have to measure up to it?
Simpson: I think "Newlyweds" is hysterical and I think the most amazing thing that Jessica has done for her career was "Newlyweds" because people needed to see that. She's gorgeous, but she's just normal like anybody else, you know? So I think that I definitely was influenced by that, but Jessica is always, no matter what she's been through, she's always stayed true to herself, and that's what I look up to. People are always like, "Oh, are you so afraid you're gonna be in competition with your sister?" I'm like, "Hell no, I would rather be in competition with my sister than anybody else." That's a good thing to know that two people in your family are out there doing it. And it doesn't matter who wins or whatever because we're happy for each other.
Ashlee Simpson Shrugs Off Orange Bowl Booing
Singer's performance of 'La La' capped football game's halftime show.
Ashlee Simpson had wanted to start 2005 with a clean slate, but as her first appearance of the new year demonstrated, not everyone is as eager to put her "SNL" snafu behind her as she is. You'd think being booed in such a public forum as the Orange Bowl would be traumatic, but the
singer/actress insists she's unfazed.
"There was some booing that went on after the halftime show was finished," she said. "If they didn't like the performance, and that's what it was about, then sorry to them."
Some have said Simpson was booed at Miami's Pro Player Stadium because the rowdy crowd of 72,000 wasn't the same age bracket as Simpson's teen audience. Others have said it was payback for "SNL," for her being a bad sport, walking off the stage and later blaming her band for a miscue (see "Ashlee Simpson's 'SNL' Excuse Bolstered By Rehearsal Tape"). Still others have complained that she just sounded bad. But Simpson has a few theories herself about why boos were heard following the closing line of her song "La La," "I want to hear you scream!"
"Maybe they were booing at me, maybe they were booing at the halftime show 'cause the whole thing sucked," she said. "I was facing [the Oklahoma Sooners], and I was rooting for USC, and they played a clip of it, so maybe it was that those people didn't like me. You never know. But I can't make everybody happy."
Simpson also pointed out that for this performance, the circumstances were less than ideal.
"There were no ear monitors when we went onstage," she said. "No floor monitors. And trying to sing in a stadium where you can't hear yourself is kinda hard. My sister [Jessica] was like, 'I don't know how you just did that! I performed in stadiums, and if I didn't have my ears, I would have freaked.' "
Still, Simpson said she's learned a lot from both the "SNL" and Orange Bowl experiences (see "Ashlee Identifying With 'Wannabe' Character, Says She's Over 'SNL' Episode"), with the biggest lesson being that she has to "keep pushing forward and being really strong, and no matter what you go through, fight through it." After all, she said 2004 wasn't all bad — her reality show was a hit, as was her debut album, Autobiography, which ended up being one of the top 10 best-selling albums of the year (see "Usher's 'Yeah!' Was Most Played Song Of 2004").
"I go from having a #1 album and things going great and all of a sudden something like 'SNL' happens and boom! You're faced with how mean people can be and criticizing you and stuff," she said. "But I've learned a lot about myself through all of this. It's like, I'm not perfect and I'm not going to be perfect. I'm still 20, and a new artist, and I will only grow. And I look forward to continuing to not listen to what one person says and making good music."
Boo Birds Attack Ashlee Simpson
On second thought, perhaps Ashlee Simpson should have stuck to the hoedown...
Singing live certainly didn't spare Jessica Simpson's younger, acid-reflux-suffering sibling from the wrath of the 72,000 at the packed Orange Bowl Tuesday night.
In a performance preserved for all eternity on the Internet, and broadcast by ABC during halftime of the national championship-determining college football game, a strutting Simpson belted, some say screeched, her Autobiography cut "La La." At the conclusion of the number, the crown jeered, some say booed. One particularly vocal critic could be heard shouting, "You suck"--at least in the clip found on the Simpson-monitoring site, LipSync.us.
And it wasn't just Orange Bowl attendees whose ears were offended by Simpson's routine. In a commentary on MSNBC.com, Michael Ventre wrote that Simpson's singing "sounded like a cross between a political prisoner being tortured and a test of the Emergency Broadcast System."
Sound issues on the telecast marred half-time numbers by American Idol's Kelly Clarkson and country singer Trace Adkins, but neither of those performances inspired the boo-birds to come out.
A call seeking comment from Simpson's publicist was not returned Wednesday. The Simpson camp has been in damage-control mode since a lip-synching scandal shocked--shocked!--the world and/or the 20-year-old popster's impressionable fan base back in October on Saturday Night Live.
It was during the show that Simpson began to sing without actually singing. While Simpson held her microphone far from her face, her drummer accidentally punched up a prerecorded vocal track for her hit, "Pieces of Me," a song which Simpson had performed, or rather lip-synced, earlier in the evening. The savvy Simpson chose to cover the gaffe by, first, performing a foot-stomping hoedown, and, then, slinking off stage.
In the wake of the SNL snafu, Simpson has been trying to prove herself a legit vocalist, warbling live and without the aid of Memorex at events such as the Radio Music Awards and the Orange Bowl. Father and manager Joe Simpson said his daughter only needed help on SNL because her voice was thrashed by acid reflux.
There was no word if a flareup of the Pepcid AC disorder was in play Tuesday night.
In a bit of bad timing, tickets went on sale Wednesday for Simpson live shows in Boston, Philadelphia and Nashville. Nick Lachey's dark-haired sister-in-law is hitting the road, starting Feb. 18.
The tour coincides with the second-season launch of her probing MTV series and cross-promotional vehicle, The Ashlee Simpson Show.
In a bit of good news for the besieged pop star, meanwhile, ratings for the Orange Bowl were the second-lowest ever since college football began hosting championship games in 1999.
Still, the contest--featuring a 55-19 blowout win for Southern California over Oklahoma---averaged 21.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched prime-time show of the night.
And Ashlee Simpson the least popular prime-time singer of the night.
Ashlee Simpson can burp the alphabet
The pretty singer, who stars in her own MTV reality TV show, ‘The Ashlee Simpson Show’, says she loves showing of her special talent. She said: "When I burp the alphabet, my favourite letter is G. It is an open consonant and it is at the beginning when my wind is strong.
I can really push it.
“My worst letter is S. It is a closed consonant and at the end when I am out of wind."
The 19-year-old star also admitted that older sister Jessica also shares the same talent.
She told America’s New York Post newspaper: "Jessica burps the alphabet better than me. She has better wind and she is a much louder belcher."
Pop-culture person of the year Ashlee Simpson
Ashlee Simpson is my pop-culture Person of the Year, and I don't mean that in a good way.
The most depressing thing about the overnight pop star is not that she was caught in a lip-syncing snafu on "Saturday Night Live" in October. The most depressing thing is that anyone cared.
This time last year, Ashlee Simpson's singing career didn't exist. Then, she got her own MTV reality show chronicling the making of her debut album, and by gum if the TV show about the actress trying to be a singer didn't turn the singer into a pop star.
Less than three months after the first "Ashlee Simpson Show" aired, the first Ashlee Simpson album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. It has gone on to sell more than 3 million copies.
And we're surprised that in the midst of this whirlwind, Simpson may not have found time to actually learn how to sing? Or that every major news outlet in the country took time from actual news to report on it?
Well, we shouldn't be. In this age of instant celebrity, faux stars appear out of the ether, only to be floored by some instant scandal nanoseconds later. Someone posts an incriminating video on the Internet, Larry King weighs in and suddenly, the stars are confessing to Katie Couric with a tear in their eye and multiple fingers crossed behind their backs. People are talking about them, so how sad can they be?
Besides, once the furor over the sex tape/ arrest/harassment suit dies down, the career will bounce back. Like Kobe Bryant's basketball. Or a bad check.
From her made-by-TV career to her criminally catchy "Pieces of You" single, Ashlee Simpson is the grinning poster girl for the current corrupt state of pop culture. The black eye is all ours.
Ashlee Simpson to perform live for AOL
Ashlee Simpson is getting behind the mic again _ only this time, she's promising it will be live. Simpson, whose lip-synch-gone-awry on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in October made her an instant punch line, will headline a concert for AOL Monday in Los Angeles, AOL told The Associated Press Friday.
"I'm really looking forward to doing this special AOL concert," said Simpson, 19, in a statement. "I had so much fun recording for `Sessions' "at" AOL, and
performing for a live audience of so many people online is going to be really exciting."
The concert will be held at the El Rey Theatre and broadcast live on AOL's radio network and also for its broadband customers.
Previous performers at AOL's concerts have included Usher, Nelly, Toby Keith and Avril Lavigne.
Simpson's debut album, "Autobiography," has sold more than 2 million copies, and this week, MTV announced it was renewing her reality show, "The Ashlee Simpson Show," for a second season.
Simpson is the younger sister of Jessica Simpson. MTV also has confirmed that it is renewing "Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica," the reality series featuring Jessica and husband Nick Lachey, for a third season.
Looks like Ashlee is picking up pieces with her ex, Ryan
Now don't say we told you, but apparently America's sweethearts - lip-synching pop princess Ashlee Simpson and her spiky-haired ``All The Way Down'' boy Ryan Cabrera - are making beautiful music together again.
Ashlee and Ryan, who had a painful, public MTV split when their conflicting concert schedules tore them apart, were spotted in full-frontal canoodle mode at the KISS-108 Jingle Ball at the Tsongas Arena last week.
``They were standing together side-stage when Gwen Stefani was on,'' said our backstage spy. ``There was hand-holding, staring deeply into each other's eyes like no one was there, playful giddiness, smooching. Apparently, they are an item again.''
As every 12-year-old is so painfully aware, Ryan was the subject of Ashlee's monster hit, ``Pieces of Me,'' and much of her MTV reality show was devoted to the then-budding romance between the two. (Ryan and Ashlee's sis, Jessica, had the same voice teacher and the sisters' dad, Joe, manages all three performers.)
But Ryan broke Ash's heart, even though the two have insisted that they remain ``best buds.''
Which brings us to the Jingle Ball. At first, we're told, Ryan's dressing room was adjacent to ``I Don't Want To Be'' singer Gavin DeGraw. But apparently, there is some bad blood between the two singer-songwriters.
Not to worry, Ashlee volunteered to trade dressing rooms with Gavin, which put her ever so much closer to Ryan.
``The sparks were flying,'' said our spy. ``Before you knew it, they were holding hands and smooching.''
In other words, their lips were in synch!
Ashlee is in many magazines, all around the world!
Here are just a few of the ones you can find her in...
-Fashion 18 Winter 2005 (Canada)
-Seventeen Nov 2004 (Thailand)
-Teengirl Nov 2004 (Japan)
-CLEO Dec 2004 (Malaysia & Singapore)
-Gente Jovem Dec 2004 (Portugal)
The Ashlee Simpson show new season begins in January!
We watched Ashlee Simpson rise from being Jessica's cool younger sister to a multi-platinum selling artist and this new season will capture the journey and everything that comes with mega-stardom. MTV captures it all, from her infamous SNL appearance to product endorsement and movie deals, to preparing for her biggest musical challenge--her first nationwide tour. Throughout it all, Ashlee is challenged with reproving herself as a serious artist, while keeping her integrity and identity in tact. This season gives an intimate look into the crazy new world that only success can bring and culminates with Ashlee's first ever tour.
Season 2 Premieres January 26 at 10:30 ET/PT.
More fun stuff about Ashlee Simpson
1. How would you describe yourself to someone who didn't know you or hadn't met you before?
If I were to describe myself, I would have to say that I'm impulsive; I love to do things by the minute. If it's to dye my hair brown--whatever it is--I just like to kind of go for it and put myself out there, and do fun stuff. I'm very random!
2. How long have you been singing, and have you always wanted to be a recording artist?
I've been singing since I was young, but I didn't always know that I could really sing--I kind of always thought that was Jessica's thing and that I was supposed to be something else. Then, I started writing my own music and finally decided that I really liked my songs, and that I could do it too! Just because I have a sister who sings doesn't mean that I can't be a singer.
3. Did music play a large role in your childhood?
Music played a huge role in my childhood--everything that I did was driven by music, whether it was dancing or singing--it was all about music. I'm really excited now because it's my music that I've been able to express myself through singing and writing.
4. What was the first CD that you bought?
The first CD I bought--oh gosh--I don't remember! But, the first CD that I remember listening to was something that my cousin played for me when I was about four-years-old, which was Van Halen. So I used to listen to their CDs and wear their T-shirts. My cousin was the one who wanted me to be a rocker!
5. Who inspires you and who do you admire?
People that I fall in love with and people I love in my life are the ones who really inspire me. There are a lot of people that I look up to and admire!
6. If you could do a duet with anyone (other than your sister), who would it be?
If I could do a duet with anybody, it would be Chrissie Hynde (of The Pretenders) because she has been my role model for a while!
7. You've done a lot of acting, and now you have a new show and are releasing a CD--through all of these things, is there a message that you're trying to send to others your age?
When I choose a role for acting or do something with music, I really try to put myself into that character or put myself into my music. I want people to see that it's the best to be real, and even when I'm acting, the characters that I choose are people that have dignity and strength. Even though there is definitely a weakness to them--because I think that everybody has weakness--I would say the best thing for my fans and everybody is to find that strength inside you and stand up for yourself. Even with my character on 7th Heaven, she always stands up for herself, and I really like that.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to do boring, stupid stuff in my spare time when I'm not working--because I'm working a lot--so whenever I'm not working I like to sit around or go bowling, or if it's a Friday and I've been working all week, I like to go out and go dancing with my girlfriends. I live in an apartment with my best friend so we have the time of our lives!
Ashlee Simpson is not a good example for Catholic girls!
Pop star Ashlee Simpson has been banned from performing two free concerts at American Catholic girls schools. The Archdiocese of New Oreleans, Louisiana, stepped in to cancel the performances at local schools St Mary's Dominican and Archbishop Chapelle, claiming security costs were too high - but pupils claims the real reason was that the church disapproved of the sexy star.
Archdiocesan spokesperson Reverend William Maestri says: "We have a serious objection to that. The merits of Ashlee Simpson's music is another issue altogether, and one I am not competent to comment on." A student at Chapelle tells magazine US Weekly the decision was made because: "We're a Catholic girls school!"
Protestors Bash Ashlee Simpson
After Ashlee Simpson's little lip synching ordeal on "S.N.L.," the non-profit group H.O.P.E. (Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment) is trying to clean up her act by swapping Simpson's album "Autobiography" with one they consider of a "higher entertainment quality." The options listed on the organization's website include Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and others. This group also protested the summer release of Chris Kattan's "Taxi" and Paris Hilton's memoirs. Guess they didn't buy the "acid reflux" excuse!
November 9, 2004.
Ashlee Simpson has said she's more of a rocker chick than her famous sister, and in her next video, we're actually going to see it. For "La La," which shoots later this week, the youngest Simpson sibling will let loose her rebellious side, setting forth on a series of adventures, pranks and hi-jinks as she roams her neighborhood. Like a cross between an updated "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "The O.C.," Simpson's world — as imagined by director Joseph Kahn — is pure teen heaven, composed of surfers, mallrats, BMX bikers and punkers who are all hanging out at parties, fast-food eateries, arcades and parking lots. Harmless fun — such as riding plastic trays like surfboards — is juxtaposed with troublemaking — including knocking down mailboxes, egging cars and toilet-papering houses. These moments will be captured in a handheld style, so it feels more like a documentary than a video. And outside of a pool-party performance, Simpson's vocals will come across more like dialogue, or an internal monologue, according to the treatment. Simpson's partners in crime — her girlfriends — don't care if they're making a mess during their night out on the town, starting from the moment they throw clothes around to get ready and sneak out windows to get there. They throw an impromptu pool party (where kids try to charge a cover at the door), make out, dance and watch Simpson sing in a spontaneous performance. They all run wild until day breaks, when everyone sneaks back into their houses as if the night never happened.
Ashlee begs for Another SNL Chance
Shamed pop star ASHLEE SIMPSON is begging bosses of American satirical TV show SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE to invite her back after her debut was marred by a lip-syncing controversy. The singer shocked fans on 23 October (04) when a guide track she was using started without her and led to her dashing from the live show's stage in tears of embarrassment.
When Ashlee Simpson was caught lip-syncing on Saturday Night Live on October 23rd, it was an embarrassment for the singer and the show. But the use of backing tracks in concerts and TV performances is hardly the shock it was when Milli Vanilli was revealed to have lip-synced in 1990. "In the long run, it's about performance," says Alexandre Magno, a choreographer on Madonna's 1993 Girlie Show Tour. Madonna did most of the vocals live, he says, but some were prerecorded to play back during complex dance numbers. "If you're up there and you know what you're doing, it doesn't matter if you're lip-syncing or you're singing live," says Magno.
"It's extremely common," says Simpson, who maintains she was unable to sing because she was ill with acid reflux. "You go to people's tours, and you see them dancing extremely hard -- do you really think they're singing that well all the time? You try it. You'd be gasping for breath. At awards shows they're singing so perfect, and it's definitely not just them." Reviews of Britney Spears throughout her career often mention lip-syncing. Spears has denied the allegations, although earlier this year her then manager, Larry Rudolph, told the New York Times that she occasionally lip-syncs while dancing.
Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels was unavailable for comment, but he told AP Radio that artists have lip-synced on the show before. (Eminem's camp has been denying speculation that the rapper lip-synced during his SNL set this past weekend.) Adds Kid Kelly, a Top Forty-radio veteran who oversees pop programming for Sirius Satellite Radio, "Just about every band that's playing live TV has an accompanying track -- with the possible exception of a jam band." Many rock bands use backing tracks in concert, too, to re-create the studio sound of their albums. "A lot of the heavy acts do that -- they thicken up the guitar sounds when they play live," says a concert-industry source. "Kiss has backing tracks galore." And bands aren't embarrassed by it. "When you go into the recording studio you have layers and layers of guitars," says Evanescence manager Dennis Rider. "Unless you have three or four guitar players onstage, you can't duplicate that. And people want to hear the record they bought."
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