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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.
Jessica's pop-punk little sis Ashlee Simpson
She might be the younger sister of another MTV superstar, but Ashlee Simpson has done her best to make her own style and music distinct from big sis Jessica. The Waco, TX-born Simpson gravitated towards music and performance at a young age.
When she was only 11, Simpson became the youngest person ever admitted into the School of American Ballet. A few years later, she moved with her parents and older sister to Los Angeles and spent time as a dancer in Jessica's stage show. Appearances on 'Malcolm in the Middle' and 'The View' led to a regular role on the television show 'Seventh Heaven' but the younger Simpson's heart was set on a music career.
After getting her song "Just Let Me Cry" on the 'Freaky Friday' soundtrack in 2003, Ashlee continued work on her rock-edged demos when 'Seventh Heaven' wasn't in production. Geffen was impressed and released her debut album, Autobiography, in 2004 as MTV debuted her own reality show. Though she has been the butt of late night talk show hosts ever since her October lipsynching debacle on 'Saturday Night Live,' it appears that the younger Simpson has followed in her sister's footsteps of parlaying limited talent into a sizeable career as a "singer."
On and off tour for Ashlee Simpson
Move over, Jessica Simpson. Little Sis' Ashlee Simpson will go on the road in her first headlining tour beginning Feb. 18. Ashlee, who released her debut album, "Autobiography," earlier this year, will host the West Coast portion of ABC's "New Year's Rockin' Eve 2005" on Dec. 31. ... Hoobastank, nominated for three Grammy Awards, postponed the remaining dates of its tour because lead singer Doug Robb has bronchial pneumonia. The postponed shows will be rescheduled after the Grammy Awards telecast on Feb. 13.
The Simpson's family show business
Why not take those showbiz parents for starters? Jessica and Ashlee Simpson’s father is a former Baptist minister, but he doesn’t seem to have learnt many moral lessons from his time as a man of the cloth. He’s got one daughter firmly ensconced in the world of fame — as a singer and general simpleton-about-town (can anyone forget Jessica Simpson’s trouble telling chicken from tuna on her MTV show ‘Newlyweds’?) — now he’s turning his attentions to younger daughter and up-and-coming singer Ashlee.
Seems Ash’s little lip-synching on live TV debacle hasn’t set her back too much, and she’s busy working on her movie debut. Thing is, the plot of her (aptly titled?) flick ‘Wannabe’, involved her playing a lesbian. Wow, isn’t that super-exciting? I hear you ask as you stifle a yawn. Yes, it is apparently – in the ever more puritanical US of A.
Luckily, father Joe Simpson has his daughter’s film career all stitched up. “I changed it,” he says of the movie’s plot, according to PageSix.
“It doesn't work for her to be gay the first thing out. She said, 'But it's cool, it's edgy, it's different,' and of course the filmmakers were like, 'It's cool for a woman to be a lesbian.' She's going to be a huge movie star. She's like Meg Ryan or Cameron Diaz, with probably more depth. When we're done, she'll play it all.”
When “we” are done? Must be great for Ashlee having a dad who’s so involved in her life.
Where was Ashlee Simpson in 2004?
Where was Ashlee Simpson in 2004? Her name just never seemed to pop up in the media. Yeah, right! Jessica's pop-punk little sister was everywhere: on the charts with her hit single Pieces of Me, on MTV starring in her own reality series and, most notoriously, as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live.
Ashlee Simpson turns down ''SNL''
Ashlee Simpson has turned down an offer to make another appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Simpson made headlines in October, when a technical error on the show exposed her use of a backing track, while fans had been expecting a live performance.
She said, "I'm not going back to SNL. They asked me back. But I'm not going back. I figured I probably got the highest ratings for them this season."
Ashlee Simpson wins Female New Artist of the Year at Billboard Music Awards
It was all about R&B and hip-hop at Wednesday night's Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. Usher was the big winner with 11 awards, followed by Alicia Keys with seven, Outkast with five and Kanye West with four.
Usher, who opened the show at the MGM Grand by dropping down from the ceiling for a glitzy performance of ''Bad Girls'', was named Artist of the Year and Billboard 200 Artist of the Year, and also took home awards for Billboard 200 R&B/ Hip-Hop Album of the Year and Hot 100 Single of the Year for his song "Yeah!"
Keys, who performed "Karma" with a pair of violinists, two bucket percussionists and a troupe of break-dancers, won Female Artist of the Year, R&B/ Hip-Hop Single of the Year ("If I Ain't Got You") and Hot 100 Songwriter of the Year.
The show also featured the first-ever Ringtone of the Year award, which went to 50 Cent's ubiquitous rap track "In Da Club." Maroon 5 were named Digital Artist of the Year and Outkast won Digital Track of the Year for "Hey Ya!"
On the same day he was nominated for 10 Grammys (see "Kanye Scores 10 Grammy Nominations; Usher And Alicia Keys Land Eight"), Kanye West won Male New Artist of the Year, new R&B/ Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, R&B/Hip-Hop Producer of the Year and Rap Artist of the Year.
Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz took home a pair of awards for Independent Artist and Album of the Year for Kings of Crunk.
The show featured a number of bizarre moments, not the least of which occurred when actress Tara Reid tripped onto the stage to face nearly 30 seconds of agonizing downtime while the TelePrompTer apparently malfunctioned. Reid introduced the reunited Mötley Crüe (see "Original Lineup Of Motley Crue Reuniting For World Tour"), whose singer, Vince Neil, stammered a few times and then admitted he could not see the Prompter without reading glasses. And when Ashlee Simpson collected Female New Artist of the Year to a small chorus of boos, the singer responded by doing a dance step and joking that if artists ever get nervous, they can do the "Texas jig" she did after her infamous "Saturday Night Live" lip-synching incident (see "Ashlee Identifying With 'Wannabe' Character, Says She's Over 'SNL' Episode").
Britney Spears, making her first public appearance since marrying dancer Kevin Federline, took the stage in a body-hugging sheer dress to present the first award of the night, Rap Artist of the Year, which went to Kanye. Spears won the Hot Dance Single of the Year for "Me Against the Music."
Destiny's Child were given an Artist Achievement Award, and an all-star cast that included DC, Mary J. Blige and Diana Ross closed the show with a musical tribute to Century Award winner Stevie Wonder. As the band vamped on one of his songs, Wonder took the stage and spontaneously burst into a vocal performance of his 1973 hit "Higher Ground."
The Billboard Awards are based on record sales and airplay tabulated by the magazine between December 2003 and November 2004.
Ashlee Says She's Over 'SNL' Episode
'She's searching for herself in a sense, who she is as a woman,' Simpson said of her character.
Ashlee Simpson is discovering that she has a lot in common with the character she's about to play on the big screen in her first major film role. Just like Clea, she's got basic insecurity issues common to most young women — though the singer is a tad more successful than the aspiring actress she portrays in '' Wannabe''.
"She's searching for herself in a sense, who she is as a woman," Simpson said. "She's a tomboy, which is a lot of fun to play — I come to work, and it's just three minutes of going through hair and makeup, which is awesome. And there's some similarities between Clea and me. Her issues, I can definitely identify with." (Click for photos from the set of "Wannabe.")
Clea spends "Wannabe" trying to transform her musician friend Luke (Steven Strait from the upcoming "Sky High") into a rock star (see "Ashlee Simpson Trades Spotlight For Supporting Role In 'Wannabe' "). "The reason we're helping him is that he's this really talented guy, and we don't understand why nobody will sign him," she said. "But the thing is, can you make a nice guy a rock star? And will he stay sane, or will he not?"
Simpson should know — her jump into the media spotlight, thanks to "The Ashlee Simpson Show," definitely brought a fair share of madness into her life, most typified by the scrutiny she suddenly faced when she flubbed a lip-synch on live national television in October (see "Ashlee Blames Gastric Distress For 'SNL' Lip-Synch Snafu"). Since the first season of her reality show focused on the making of her debut album, Autobiography, the second season, naturally, follows what happened once that album came out, including the "SNL" moment and the ensuing media frenzy. "I'm not uncomfortable talking about 'SNL' anymore," she said. "I'm just over talking about it."
The next season, which starts airing January 5, will also show Simpson embarking on her first tour, which she says will feature her and her band "just rocking out" (see "Ashlee Simpson To Launch Tour In February"). "It's going to be nice, simple, stripped-down. I've been working on the piano, so you'll probably see me playing that," she said. "We're not trying to do anything too over-the-top."
Ashlee Simpson sings punk music
He Had Me At Hello: "Being Simon's love interest is so fun. We made out the first time we met. [David] is a really good kisser. Do you know how many girlfriends he's had on the show? I'm sure he kisses girls all the time."
When Tutus Are Better Than One: "I grew up dancing and Jessica grew up singing. That was our thing. We have videos of us starting as far back as when I was two years old. We both were wearing tutus. Later, when her [first] single came out, I went on tour with her. She sang and I danced. We went all over the world."
The Dallas Cheerleader: "There are a lot of things I miss about my hometown. I go back to Dallas a lot. My idea of the perfect day is lying around watching football games with my family."
Finding My Voice: "I would sing behind closed doors growing up. Jessica was so good and it made me shy about my own voice. But, I don't hide my singing - not anymore. I sing punk music actually. I love to run around and scream and rock out and play guitar."
Ashlee Simpson is one of the hot celebrities managed by her dad
So why risk it? While there are multiple cases of parent managers allegedly stealing from their children, hundreds of non-parent managers have been accused of the same thing. (Just watch TLC's "Behind the Music," or most other "Behind the Music" episodes for that matter.) So, given the option, who would you trust more to handle the dough?
"My dad and I, we'll go head-to-head and fight," Ashlee Simpson said about her father, Joe Simpson, who also manages Jessica. "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."
Music manager (for Nikka Costa, among others) and "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson rarely recommends artists let a parent manage them. "The music business is slightly different, but it's still a business.," he said. "So is Joe Simpson. He was a minister but also a businessman as well. He learned really fast and he listened a lot and he really took his time, and he was very careful and methodical how he did things, so this situation turned out amazing." In most circumstances, however, Jackson would suggest that the parent hire a veteran manager to co-represent their child. "Parents don't know how to manage an artist, all they're doing is [being] there to protect their kids, especially if their kids are minors," Jackson said. "I don't even think the parents should really be called managers. They should just be there to make sure their kid is OK and let someone else with the expertise manage."
Ashlee Simpson's first feature film, romantic comedy ''Wannabe''
After working to get out of the shadows and into the spotlight, Ashlee Simpson is going back to a position she's long been comfortable with — a supporting role. The actress/singer starts work this on her first feature film, the romantic comedy ''Wannabe'', in wich her aspiring actresscharacter plays second fiddle to another would be star. Simpson plays Clea, who is one of a group of struggling entertainers trying to make names for themselves in Los Angeles (see "Ashlee Simpson To Play An Actress In 'Wannabe' Flick"). She befriends the film's main character, Brier (played by Pell James from "Uptown Girls"), in a highly sought-after acting class. Brier has just moved to L.A. after working in New York as a model. The two team up to help Brier reconnect with Luke (Steven Strait from the upcoming "Sky High"), a struggling singer/songwriter she's crushed on since their time together in New York. Luke has been toiling for years without a record deal, and Brier and Clea decide to create some fake hype to get him noticed. The price of his fame, however, turns out to be more than the would-be lovers and their friends anticipated.
"It's basically about musicians trying to find their way," Simpson said of the project when it was first announced in September. "There's a guy who gets too old to be a musician, and all of us become his fan club." The film also stars Carrie Fisher as Brier's acerbic agent, Shannyn Sossamon ("40 Days and 40 Nights," "A Knight's Tale"), Fisher Stevens ("Hackers") and Kip Pardue ("Thirteen"). Music video director Meiert Avis — who's worked with U2 and Audioslave and most recently helmed New Found Glory's "All Downhill From Here" clip — will make his return to directing movies, following 1989's "Far From Home." Simpson's father, Joe Simpson, will serve as an executive producer for the project.