Jessica Simpson


It's in Dallas, Texas, that Jessica Ann Simpson was born on July 10th, 1980. Growing up in the small town of Richardson, her life was textbook happy. Her father Joe was a psychologist who also served as youth minister in the local Baptist church.

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.

When she reached the finals, she froze, choking completely. Unfortunately, she didn't get the job; Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were luckier. Nevertheless, this experience served as an important life lesson for Jessica.

jessica, christian star

She returned to Richardson and bit into the Christian music she had been brought up with. Before long, small label Proclaim Records noticed her voice and offered to record an album. She recorded a number of gospel songs but just as they were angling for a release date, the label went bankrupt.

Not about to give up in the face of adversity, Joe (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. This was a winning formula and while she was still in junior high, Jessica was performing with famous gospel acts like Kirk Franklin and Ce Ce Winans.

Word spread about Simpson and her record sold like hotcakes. More importantly, it wasn't only Christian music fans who got into her music; pop lovers everywhere were being charmed by her voice. This was just the encouragement Jessica needed to pursue a middle-of-the-road pop music career.

Sure enough, news of Jessica's success reached important people in the industry. Tommy Mottola of Columbia Records/Sony Music was one of them and he was stunned by Simpson's voice and skills.

jessica gives us sweet kisses

Mottola believed she had the talent to reach mainstream audiences. Still, Jessica made it clear that she would only be onboard if she could maintain her identity. Luckily, Mottola understood what she believed in and supported her decision.

After signing up with the music giant, her debut album Sweet Kisses was released in 1999, giving way to the singles "I Wanna Love You Forever" and "I Think I'm In Love With You." She then hit the road and showed audiences worldwide what the Jessica Simpson craze was all about.

She joined boy band 98 Degrees for the tour and it didn't take long for her to fall in love with one of its members, Nick Lachey. Their budding romance only helped the release of their duet, "Where You Are," off Sweet Kisses.

In June 2001, her sophomore album Irresistible was released. The title track was a smash hit and it went as high as #3 on the Top 40 mainstream chart. After some remixes, her third record In This Skin was released in August 2003. However, Jessica Simpson's life was about to take a drastic turn.

jessica and nick on newlyweds

After a short breakup, Jessica and Nick finally got married in October 2002 (which meant that they could finally consummate their union...) and the celebrity marriage had rejoiced gossip columnists everywhere. As a result, MTV offered the couple a reality show based on their everyday life as a couple, much like The Osbournes.

The deal was struck and August 2003 marked the debut of Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica. Although the show overshadowed Simpson's new album, it became an incredible hit and it was picked up for a second season.

Since the world can't seem to get enough of their goofy antics, the couple was offered a TV variety special reminiscent of The Sonny and Cher Show. They don't plan on making it a series but we'll see what happens...

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