Jessica Ann Johnson (née Simpson; born July 10, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, reality television personality and fashion designer who made her debut in 1999. Since that time, Simpson has made many recordings, starred in several television shows, movies and commercials, launched a line of hair and beauty products, and designed fragrances, shoes and handbags for women. She has devoted time to philanthropic efforts including Operation Smile and a USO-hosted tour for troops stationed overseas. She started The Jessica Simpson Collection in 2006.
Simpson rose to fame with the release of her debut single, “I Wanna Love You Forever”, which peaked inside the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100. Subsequently, her debut album Sweet Kisses went on to be certified 2x Platinum in the United States and sold over four million copies worldwide. Her 2001 single “Irresistible” became her second Top 20 hit, while the album of the same name became her first to enter the Top 10 of the Billboard 200, and went on to receive a Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Her third studio album, In This Skin, went on to become her best-selling album worldwide, receiving a 3x Platinum certification from the RIAA and peaking at number 2 on the Billboard 200, her highest-charting album to date. Following the release of a Christmas album, Simpson released A Public Affair in 2006, and the album became her third Top 10 hit on the Billboard 200. She ventured into the country music market in 2008 and released Do You Know. In October 2010, she released her first compilation album and last album under the label of Epic Records, with the name Playlist: The Very Best of Jessica Simpson. A month later she released her second Christmas album Happy Christmas under the label eleveneleven and Primary Wave Records (owned by EMI). She has achieved seven Billboard Top 40 hits, three gold and two multi-platinum RIAA certified studio albums, four of which have reached the top 10 on the US Billboard 200. Simpson has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. In 2013, VH1 ranked Simpson #32 on their 100 Sexiest Artists of All Time list.
Starting in 2003, Simpson starred with her then-husband Nick Lachey in the MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. The show aired from 2003 to 2005. After her divorce from Lachey, Simpson appeared in films including The Dukes of Hazzard (2005), Employee of the Month (2006), and Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous (2008). Simpson was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The View, The Price of Beauty, and The Early Show. Her appearances on The Price of Beauty gained generally positive reception, pulling in 1 million viewers on its premiere. The show was also nominated for a Teen Choice Award. She also recorded the show’s theme song, “Who We Are”.
Jessica Ann Simpson was born on July 10, 1980, in Abilene, Texas, to Joseph “Joe” Simpson, a minister and psychologist, and Tina Ann (Drew) Simpson. Simpson’s younger sister Ashlee is also a singer. Simpson’s father gave her a purity ring at the age of 12, and Simpson has often stated that she remained a virgin until marriage. Her parents were married in 1978, and filed for divorce in 2012. Their divorce was finalized in 2013. Simpson has stated that she grew up in Dallas, but her parents now live in McGregor, Texas.
Jessica began singing at a 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. Simpson has stated that they were put in groups and had acting and vocal coaches to help them. According to Jessica, Justin Timberlake was in a group with her. She explained that she had frozen after getting on stage to sing, and later commented that she had felt “intimidated” by the other performers. The following year, Simpson attended a church camp, where she sang Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” and an arrangement of “Amazing Grace.” At the camp, she was introduced to the founder of Proclaim Records, a minor Gospel music record label. She recorded an album, titled Jessica. but was dismissed from the label when it went bankrupt, and the album was never officially released beyond a small pressing that Simpson’s own grandmother personally funded. When she was sixteen years old, Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola heard Jessica, and her musical talent and skill favorably impressed him. Simpson was immediately signed to the label. Forced to drop out of J. J. Pearce High School as a result, she later earned her GED.
In December 1998, Simpson and singer Nick Lachey were introduced by their shared manager at a Christmas event. They began dating after meeting again at a Teen People event in January 1999, but broke up for five months until getting back together following the 9/11 attacks. They became engaged in February 2002, and married on October 26, 2002 in Austin, Texas. She announced she had remained a virgin until her marriage. In November 2005, Simpson and Lachey announced they were separating. Simpson filed for divorce in December 2005, citing “irreconcilable differences.”Their divorce was publicized worldwide and 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, and she was blamed for Romo’s poor performances. Some of the Cowboys’ fans gave her the nickname “Yoko Romo,” a reference to Yoko Ono, whom many Beatles fans blamed 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 was quoted as saying: “We’re going to send Jessica Simpson to the Democrat National Convention”. Simpson and Romo were reported to have ended their relationship in July 2009.
In November 2010, Simpson became engaged to Eric Johnson, a retired NFL tight end, whom she had been dating since that May. Simpson and Johnson married on July 5, 2014 in Montecito, California. They have two children: daughter Maxwell Drew Johnson (born May 1, 2012) and son Ace Knute Johnson (born June 30, 2013).
Retail and commercials
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. In 2005, Vince Camuto’s Camuto Group purchased the rights to license Simpson’s name and image, and by 2014, Camuto and Simpson had developed a handful of product lines worth $1 billion, in an enterprise that also involves Simpson’s mother and sister. Simpson and stylist Ken Pavés launched a line of hair and beauty products on the Home Shopping Network in 2006. 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. She launched an e-commerce beauty site, BeautyMint, with celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy in 2011. The Jessica Simpson’s Intimates began selling in major department stores and online shopping sites in spring 2009. She launched a fragrance line made by Parlux Fragrances, starting with “Fancy” in 2008. The success of Fancy spawned three more fragrances, “Fancy Love”, “Fancy Nights” and I “Fancy You”. In 2012, Simpson launched a maternity clothing line and a perfume named “Vintage Bloom”, inspired by her motherhood. In 2013, she launched a bedroom decor line including bedding and draperies offered in a romantic bohemian style, with floral patterns. In August 2014, a signature fragrance was added.
Simpson has made commercials for Pizza Hut, Proactiv Solution and a commercial for Ice Breakers with her sister Ashlee Simpson. 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.
In April 2004, Simpson performed during the VH1’s benefit concert Divas Live 2004 alongside Ashanti, Cyndi Lauper, Gladys Knight, Joss Stone and Patti LaBelle, in support of the Save the Music Foundation. In May 2004, Simpson did a benefit concert to help the Skin Care Foundation 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 is Soles4Souls’s Ambassador where she participed in autographing shoes to donate the money from communities across the United States. Jessica Simpson supports AetherA Foundation and Skin Cancer Foundation. Jessica Simpson works with Make A Wish Foundation to help children’s dreams comes true.
Jessica Simpson is a Republican. She 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. The singer’s father, Joe Simpson, explained that he and Jessica are “big supporters” of the president, who invited them, but they felt it was inappropriate to attend a political fundraiser. Simpson has however praised Michelle Obama stating she wants to be like the first lady. “I really do,” Simpson told People magazine in May 2010 before the White House Correspondents’ dinner in Washington, D.C. “She’s such an incredible woman, and she’s with such a powerful man…Everything she does she exudes confidence,” “I’m really just here to celebrate her.”
Simpson possesses a soprano vocal range that spans 3 octaves, 2 notes and a semitone (from E3 to G#6) with her highest exclamation as a D7. Upon gaining fame in 1999, she was compared to Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Her first single, “I Wanna Love You Forever”, was a power ballad that showcased Simpson’s ability to sustain high notes in full voice. When reviewing a 2004 concert that featured Simpson, Gina Vivinetto of the Tampa Bay Times stated that she “packs a strong, powerhouse voice” and that “she effortlessly hits notes in a stratosphere that other poptarts don’t jet near.”
Simpson has listed Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Sade, and Whitney Houston as influences on her music. She has also stated that Faith Hill, Shania Twain and Martina McBride helped influence her for her debut country album, Do You Know.
|2002—2003||That ’70s Show||Annette||TV series (3 episodes)|
|2003||The Twilight Zone||Miranda Evans||TV series (1 episode “The Collection”)|
|2004||Jessica||Jessica Sampson||TV series|
|2005||The Dukes of Hazzard||Daisy Duke|
|2006||Employee of the Month||Amy|
|2007||Blonde Ambition||Katie Gregerstitch|
|2008||Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous||Private Megan Valentine|
|2002||The Master of Disguise||Cameo appearance|
|2003—2005||Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica||TV series|
|2004||The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour||Music/Sketch Comedy Special|
|2004||Nick and Jessica’s Family Christmas||Holiday Music Special|
|2008||The Love Guru||Cameo|
|2009||I Get That a Lot||TV series (1 episode)|
|2010||The Price of Beauty||TV series|
|2010||Entourage||TV series (1 episode “Bottoms Up”)|
|2012—2013||Fashion Star||TV series|
- Sweet Kisses (1999)
- Irresistible (2001)
- In This Skin (2003)
- Rejoyce: The Christmas Album (2004)
- A Public Affair (2006)
- Do You Know (2008)
- Happy Christmas (2010)
- DreamChaser Tour (2001)
- Reality Tour (2004)
- MTV Total Request Live Tour (2001)
- Opening act
- Heat It Up Tour (98 Degrees) (2000)
- Bob That Head Tour (Rascal Flatts) (2009)
- The Jessica Simpson Collection (2005-)