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Jessica Simpson

Date of birth : 1980-07-10
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-07-07

Jessica Ann Simpson, born on July 10, 1980 in Dallas, Texas, USA is an American actress.

Debuting as an adorable, all-American-looking pop singer with a powerful vocal range and squeaky clean image, Jessica Simpson initially stood in the shadows of her equally young, equally blonde pop predecessors Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in her early career. Routinely compared to the two divas—sometimes unfairly—Simpson has struggled to be nothing more than herself. Yearning to make her mark, Simpson found her true voice not in music, but on television. As the star of “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica” (MTV 2003- ), a reality show co-starring husband Nick Lachey, formerly of the deflated pop band 98 Degrees, Simpson has become a household name. But because of her frequently naive, sometimes needy and often spoiled demeanor and near constant goof-ups on the show (a.k.a. “pulling a Jessica”), Simpson has propelled beyond mere celebrity into the realm of cultural zeitgeist.

Born on July 10, 1980 in Dallas, Texas, Simpson was raised in a strict Christian home. Her father, Joe Simpson, was a minister at her local parish, as well as being a professional psychologist (and later Simpson’s manager). When she turned 12, Simpson received a purity ring as a gift from her dad--a silver band with a cross to be worn until her wedding day. According to Simpson, she indeed retained her virtue until she married Lachey. Simpson’s talents as a singer were apparent at an early age when singing gospel at her dad’s church. At 12, Simpson attempted to break into show business by auditioning for “The Mickey Mouse Club” (Disney Channel, 1988-1995), but lost the part to the likes of Spears and Aguilera--already, the two future stars were dogging Simpson’s career.

The following summer, after her failure with “The Mickey Mouse Club”, Simpson was discovered by the head of a small label, CCM, while singing at a church camp. Simpson spent the next three years recording her debut album, but the label folded before it could be released. Her grandmother funded a small pressing of the album, but it failed to make any impact in the mainstream. However, Simpson was a hit on the Christian Youth Conference circuit, where she sang with such gospel biggies as Kirk Franklin and Ce Ce Winans. In 1997, she made another push into the mainstream and was signed by Sony after singing an a cappella version of “Amazing Grace” in then-CEO Tommy Mottola’s office. Columbia Records later released her first official album, Sweet Kisses, in 1999. The album would go on to sell close to 2 million copies, and the single, I Wanna Love You Forever, almost went platinum as well. However, her follow-up albums, Irresistible and In This Skin, didn’t fair nearly as well.

Despite slumping record sales, Simpson kept her career alive in other mediums: the singer cameoed as herself in the Dana Carvey comedy "Master of Disguise" (2002) and in 2003, she landed a recurring role as Annette, a girlfriend of Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) on “That 70’s Show” (Fox, 1998- ) and also starred in an episode of “The Twilight Zone” (UPN, 2002-2003) called “The Collection”. As Miranda Evans, Simpson played a babysitter who looks after a young girl and her dolls, only to discover that she is slated to be next in the collection.

But Simpson’s greatest claim to fame emerged with her MTV reality show with hubby Lachey. Though the cable channel didn’t have high hopes at first, the show proved to be an instant hit, thanks in large part to Simpson’s routine gaffes. In one infamous episode, Simpson confused Chicken of the Sea with actual chicken; in another, she refused to have Buffalo wings because she didn’t “eat buffalo”. Upon learning that the Happy Hour favorite wasn’t made of actual buffalo, Simpson added to the confusion: “Why name it a Buffalo wing when it’s not buffalo?” But Simpson took the inevitable jibes at her intelligence in stride, even going so far make the dumb blonde routine a conscious part of her celebrity image. And it was Simpson who laughed last, as her show, once anticipated to be a ratings dud, was renewed for a second and third season.

Simpson’s third album, In This Skin, released amid heavy cross-promotion with the show, did not fare particularly well on the charts at first, but eventually became something of a sleeper hit upon re-release as her star continued to rise (Lachey's simultaneously launched solo album did not fare as well). As the couple's popularity skyrocketed, ABC inked them to host their own variety special, "The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour" (2004), which aired on Easter Sunday and drew sky-high ratings with 11.5 million viewers--high enough to prompt the network to sign the couple for a Christmas follow-up, "Nick & Jessica's Family Christmas" (2004), and "Nick & Jessica's Tour of Duty" (2005), a special in which they entertained U.S. troops in Iraq. The couple's high profile proved to be a marketing bonanza (Simpson launched cosmetic and clothing lines, and garnered commercial endorsements for the likes of Pizza Hut's Buffalo wings) and also fueled the career of Jessica's younger sister, singer/actress Ashlee Simpson, who also earned her own MTV reality show and album deal.

The downside of the young couple's newfound fame was that they were suddenly fodder for a seemingly endless array of cover stories among the weekly celebrity gossip magazines, usually weighing in on the state of their marriage. Almost as soon as Simpson was cast as cutoff-clad Southern Belle Daisy Duke in the big screen remake of the fondly recalled '70s series "The Dukes of Hazzard" (2005) her star was shining even brighter than ever, and even though Lachey had ventured into acting as well with a recurring role on The WB's "Charmed" in 2004, speculation ran rampant that her higher profile, compounded with extended periods apart and the availability of other partners, was taking its toll on his ego and her marriage. But even as coverage of their every outing reached critical mass on the verge of the "Dukes" premiere, the couple stood fast and insisted their bond was enduring. Meanwhile, Simpson shed a layer of her feminine "baby fat" and appeared leaner and more overtly sexy than ever, steaming up her Brett Ratner-directed music video "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by washing the film's car the General Lee in Daisy's pink, barely there bikini. She took some flack for her more sexually provocative image from conservative Christian groups, but the tyro actress proved imminently charming and sunny in her big screen debut, though Meryl Streep had nothing to worry about.

Throughout the rest of the year the celebrity magazines dogged Simpson and Lachey, breathlessly reporting their every move and trumpeting the couple's alleged split, and after repeated denials the one-time "Newlyweds" did indeed formally announce their separation over Thanksgiving weekend in 2005.

Watch the music video of Jessica Simpson 'Sweet Kisses' :


Chronology

* 1999 First single Did You Ever Love Somebody appeared on the Dawson Creek soundtrack
* 1999 Opening act for the group 98 Degrees; met future husband Nick Lachey during the tour
* 1999 Released multi platinum debut album Sweet Kisses
* 2000 Song Where You Are with then boyfriend Nick Lachey was featured in the film Here on Earth
* 2001 Released second album Irresistible
* 2002 Played Kelso s California girlfriend in three episodes of FOX s That 70 s Show ; reprised role again in 2003
* 2003 Appeared with then-new husband Nick Lachey in the MTV reality show, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica
* 2003 Released third album In This Skin , to coincide with the series premiere of Newlyweds
* 2004 Co-starred with Lachey in the ABC special, The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour
* 2005 Made feature acting debut as Daisy Duke in the movie remake of The Dukes of Hazzard ; released a cover of the 1966 Nancy Sinatra hit, These Boots Are Made for Walkin for the film s soundtrack
* 2006 Co-starred with Dane Cook in the comedy Employee of the Month
* 2006 Released fourth album, A Public Affair
* 2007 Co-starred with Luke Wilson in the poorly received, Blonde Ambition
* Auditioned at the age 12 to become a member of the Mickey Mouse Club
* Auditioned for Tommy Mottola, the chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, while a senior in high school
* Signed with a gospel music label at 13; label folded before the album was released


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