Jessica Ann Simspon was born in Abilene, Texas on July 10th, 1980. A ministers daughter who, from an early age, sang in her church choir and showed a knack for performing. Her love of singing, led her to drop out of high school at 16 in hopes of pursuing a recording career. She was discovered by Sony head honcho, Tony Mottola whilst touring the Christian music beat, and was signed to Columbia Records in the late 1990’s.
Her first album, “Sweet Kisses,” was released in 1999, and she scored chart success with her first single release, “I Wanna Love You Forever.” In an attempt to boost her popularity, Columbia added Simpson to the Ricky Martin, 98 Degrees tour, a move that helped solidify her in the place in the pop world. It was during this tour that she met Nick Lachey, a singer with the boy band 98 Degrees, and the ensuing years saw them enter into a rocky, on again, off again relationship which ultimately ended in them tying the knot in October of 2002. The nuptials were highlighted by Jessica’s claims that she had remained a virgin till that day, an announcement met with a heavy dose of skepticicsm given the overtly sexual nature of her image and music videos.
Their marriage, and it’s early years, led to a wildly successful MTV showed called “Newlyweds.” The success of the show was a much needed boost to both their careers as Lachey had failed to find any success as a solo artists and Simpsons second album “Irresistible” had sold a disappointing 800,000 copies, well short of the 2 million her debut album had sold. The show put them both back in the spotlight, although Jessica for perhaps the wrong reasons, as she often came off as the ditzy blonde, a role she seemed to embrace rather than disavow. During this time, a 3rd album, “In This Skin,” was released, but did not achieve the sort of success everyone had hoped for.
Rumors of marital problems quickly surfaced, and were eventually proven to be true when the couple filed for divorce in 2005. By that time, Jessica had made the jump from TV to the big screen, starring a number of box office flops including, “The Dukes Of Hazzard,” “Employee Of The Month,” and “Blond Ambition.” This, coupled with the poor showing of her 4th album, “A Public Affair,” led many to speculate that her star had finally burned out.
Jessica has most recently become known for being the girlfriend of Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo, rather than for her singing or acting, a tag she is trying to shake by making the move from pop princess to country gal. 2008 saw the release of, “Do You Know,” Simpsons first foray into the country and western music scene. To this point the album, and it’s first single, “Come On Over,” has been met with a lukewarm response, and time will only tell if Jessica can attain the heights of stardom as a country star that she did, for an albeit brief period, in the pop world.