Ashlee Nicole Simpson (born October 3, 1984) is an American pop rock singer, songwriter, and actress, and younger sister of pop singer Jessica Simpson. Simpson rose to prominence in mid-2004 through the success of her number-one debut album Autobiography and the accompanying reality series The Ashlee Simpson Show. Simpson received widespread criticism when she used a pre-recorded vocal track for a performance on Saturday Night Live in October 2004. Following a North American concert tour and a film appearance, Simpson released a second number-one album, I Am Me, in late 2005.
Simpson was born in Waco, Texas, and raised in Dallas. She is the daughter of Joe Truett Simpson (a former Baptist youth minister who is now her manager) and Tina Ann Drew (a former Sunday School teacher who homeschooled Ashlee).
Ashlee attended Prairie Creek Elementary. An accomplished dancer, Simpson began studying classical ballet at the age of three, and was admitted to the School of American Ballet in New York City at the age of eleven. Around that time, she suffered from an eating disorder; the condition lasted about six months, and she dropped to about 31 kg (70 pounds) at 159 cm (5ft 2in), but her parents then stepped in and got her to eat more.After her sister Jessica Simpson landed a record deal, the Simpson family decided to move to Los Angeles, California, where Ashlee began appearing in television commercials.
Image and personal life
When she first broke onto the scene, Simpson had a decidedly different image from that of her sister. Previously blonde like Jessica, she dyed her hair dark during the recording of the MTV reality show after she finished filming for the 7th Heaven television series, although after a year with dark hair she returned to blonde in 2005. Simpson's songs also have rock elements absent from her sister's music, and, particularly during the time of her initial stardom, Simpson would often wear shirts with the type of designs that are described as "punk"-style, sometimes emblazoned with band names. Her fingernails and toenails are often painted black, and has at least three tattoos: a star on one wrist, two cherries on her ankle, and the word "love" on her other wrist. Simpson has changed her style significantly over time; she now is often seen favoring girlier, "preppier" looks, though her more "punk"-oriented look is still displayed at concerts. She has also been seen sporting long blond hair extensions.
Her vocals, while generally not thought to equal her sister's range, have been praised by some as fitting the style of her music, and are usually described as "raspy" or "throaty." Simpson and her sister were tied for third on oft-quoted celebrity-fashion critic Mr. Blackwell's list of the worst-dressed celebrities of 2004. Blackwell quipped that "from gaudy to grim to downright frenetic these two prove that bad taste is positively genetic."
She has refused to discuss her sex life, in contrast with her sister, who openly stated her intention to practice sexual abstinence until marriage. "I decided that I didn't want to talk about that because it's super personal," Simpson said of the situation. Simpson's relationship with actor Josh Henderson lasted for nearly two years and ended during the first episode of The Ashlee Simpson Show. Soon after, she began dating fellow musician Ryan Cabrera. That relationship was also featured on the show, and Simpson appeared as Cabrera's love interest in the music video for his song "On the Way Down." The two were reported to have split in August 2004 due to their hectic schedules, but they resumed their relationship for a while afterward, before ending it again in early 2005; Simpson says they are still friends, although rumors suggested that Simpson did not like the fact that Ryan had moved on to Lisa Origliasso of The Veronicas.
In 2005, rumors began circulating that Simpson had stolen Wilmer Valderrama from Lindsay Lohan. Simpson's single "Boyfriend" was reported to be about the situation, but she said that the song "is about every girl out there sometimes thinks you stole her boyfriend. It's just making fun of that." Valderrama has since said on Howard Stern's radio program that he did have sex with Simpson, but claimed the incident was unrelated to his break-up with Lohan. Later that year, rumours arose that Simpson was secretly dating another Joe Simpson-managed actor, Viva La Bam's Chris Raab. In February 2006, she told Seventeen magazine that she was dating bandmate Braxton Olita and went on a 10-day vacation with him to Hawaii.
In November 2005, eTalk Daily broadcast a video of a late-night visit made by Simpson to a McDonald's fast-food restaurant in Toronto, Canada. Simpson appeared to be intoxicated in the video, and was shown arguing with a member of the staff, as well as rejecting a customer's attempt to get an autograph from her because he wouldn't kiss her feet. According to Simpson in a 2006 ELLE interview, she was "a little tipsy", and the customer had first called her "gross" before he had realized who she was, at which point he asked her for an autograph. She has said that she told herself to "grow up" after the incident.
In February 2006, Simpson was honored by MTV's Total Request Live (TRL), as the "Bounce-Back" artist. The award was given to her for being able to recover from her many ups and downs of her career, and still manage to release another #1 platinum album.
In early September 2006, Us Weekly reported that Simpson and Braxton Olita had split up. Simpson's rep said that the couple "broke up about a week ago. They have decided to take a break." Simpson has often been seen with Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz in late 2006 and 2007, and despite their initial denials, there was much speculation that they were in a relationship. In an interview for OK! magazine she denied this, while in an interview with Pete Wentz on Ryan Seacrest's American Top 40 live, Seacrest asked if Wentz and Simpson were "on" or "off", and Wentz laughed and said "off". In a Rolling Stone photo shoot, however, Wentz and Simpson took a picture together for the opening of Wentz' bar, Angels & Kings, and were labeled as a "couple". In mid-2007 Wentz spoke about their relationship to InTouch magazine, saying of Simpson that "I have never met somebody who makes me feel the way she makes me feel", although he denied rumors that the two are engaged.
Simpson was ranked as one of the "Hottest Women in Pop/R&B" by Blender magazine in January 2007.
In the June 2007 edition of Cosmopolitan, Simpson said that she hasn't lip synched since her Saturday Night Live incident, that she has "a little crush on Christian Slater", feels sexiest in bed, and that you can and can't have a good relationship without amazing sex. She also mentioned that she is single.
Simpson was voted number 16 in Maxim's 2007 Hot 100 list.