Stairway to 7th Heaven
"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.
Most known for being the kid sister of pop pin-up and reality TV icon Jessica Simpson, Ashlee Simpson has attempted to create her own image by releasing her own album, Autobiography, in 2004. The album won rave reviews and went platinum three times. As for acting, Ashlee played Cecilia in the hit TV series 7th Heaven.
Ashlee received criticism when she was caught lip-synching on America's Saturday Night Live in October 2004. However, American Idol judge Simon Cowell defended her by saying, "Why should you have to do something substandard just for the sake of being real? If it sounds better with the vocal you recorded, why shouldn't people listen to that? There's almost a witch-hunt mentality about people miming."
Green-eyed Ashlee dyed her formerly blonde hair to dark brown in order to create her new look. Personally, Ashlee has been linked with Ryan Cabrera and Josh Henderson.
Dream It, Become It
Childhood and Family:
"Because of my family, I was very driven and I really wanted to be where I am today." Ashlee Simpson. In Waco, Texas, Ashlee Nicole Simpson was born on October 3, 1984 and later raised in Dallas. Second daughter of parents Joe and Tina Simpson, Ashlee is the kid sister of pop idol and reality TV star Jessica Simpson (born July 10, 1980) and sister-in-law of singer and actor Nick Lachey. Being a supportive older sister, Jessica gave Ashlee a bracelet that reads, "If you can dream it, you can become it."
On her sister Jessica, the fiery and blunt Ashlee revealed, "Jess has always made funny comments where you're like, 'Where in the hell did that come from?' But I think it's charming."
Ashlee, nicknamed Ash, went to Prairie Creek Elementary School and enrolled at the high-status School of American Ballet. Just 11 years old, Ashlee became the youngest student in the school. A gifted dancer, Ashlee spent her elementary and junior high school years studying ballet and modern dance.
Out of the Shadow
"I think that if you love something so much you have to do it. I love music so much, there was no choice." Ashlee Simpson. From 1999 to 2001 Ashlee was a backup dancer for sister Jessica until fourteen-year-old Ashlee decided to pursue her own acting and music career.
Debuting her solo appearance on TV's Malcolm On The Middle in 2001, Ashlee later appeared with sister Jessica on several TV shows, including Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993), The Donny & Marie Show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996), The View (1997), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), and a Disney Christmas. She also played a small role in Tom Brady's comedy The Hot Chick (2002) starring Rob Schneider.
Ashlee got her first big acting break portraying the role of Simon Camden's love interest, Cecilia Smith (2002-2004), on the hit TV series 7th Heaven. During that time, she studied acting from famous acting instructor Janet Alhanti. Ashley was also scheduled to record the song Just Let Me Cry, which later became the soundtrack of the Disney's Freaky Friday.
Soon after Ashlee signed a deal with recording company Geffen Records, she premiered in her own TV show, The Ashlee Simpson Show on MTV. The show ran for eight episodes, ending on August 4, 2004. The show, produced by her father Joe, was primarily about Ashlee's forthcoming album Autobiography. Released on July 20, 2004, the album produced the single, Pieces of Me, which Ashlee reveals was about her boyfriend Ryan Cabrera. Her second single, Shadow, is about her life under her sister's fame and recognition. The next single, La La,
talks about girls' sexual fantasies. Influenced by idol musicians like Janis Joplin, Steve Nicks, Pat Benatar, the Pretenders, Blondie, Fiona Apple, Hole and Green Day, the album consists of rock, punk, and pop. With these elements Ashlee is carving her own identity outside her sister's sweetie pop genre.
On her debut CD, Ashlee explained, "Autobiography is basically a response to people assuming I'm a Jessica clone. It's like, 'If you wanna know me, just ask me!'" Referring to the rock and punk elements, she said, "I've always been a rocker. Like ever since I was really young. I had a crush on the Green Day guys. That's always been what I was like and been my interest. Then I was in a punk band for a while and we broke up." She added, "I've always loved rock music. I went to ballet school and had orange hair. I've always been out there."
Produced by John Shanks (Michele Branch, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morrissette, Unwritten Law), Ashlee co-wrote each song. Autobiography topped at No. 1 on the Billboard chart in its first week on the market and sold more than 398,000 copies. It finally received platinum certification three times after staying at the peak for three weeks.
Recently, Ashlee prepared a demo for Sony so she can join sister Jessica on that recording label. Just like many other teenage girls, Ashlee enjoys shopping and hanging out with her friends in her spare time. Ashlee recently purchased a house in Studio City, California that she shares with friends.
As for her TV show, The Ashlee Simpson Show, Ashlee will return on MTV with the show on January 26, 2005, along with sister Jessica's and brother-in-law Nick Lachey's show Newlyweds. Also in 2005, Ashlee will appear in the film Wannabe, produced by father Joe, in which she plays the role of Clea.