Jessica Simpson was never just another pop princess, and she comes by her country roots, naturally. A product of the Christian music scene, her music originally was an infusion of pop, R&B and soul, and the message it delivered was consistent with her own firmly held beliefs.
Back in Richardson, she came to the attention of the head of a small Christian music label who heard her sing an a cappella version of Amazing Grace at Church camp. She worked on her first album for three years, but before it was launched the label folded. Her grandmother stepped in and paid to have the album pressed and released. Undaunted, and accompanied by her father who had become her manager, Jessica made a name for herself on the Christian Youth Conference circuit where she performed before large audiences and sold her albums after the show. Word of the little girl with the big voice spread throughout the industry and she was approached by Sony. After receiving guarantees that she would not be turned into another pop princess clone, she signed.
In 2002, Jessica married long-time boyfriend Nick Lachey of 98° fame. She also appeared in several episodes of That 70's Show. But it was an offer from MTV that would really change her life. They wanted to produce an Osbourne-like reality show about her and Nick's daily life. Newlyweds debuted in August of 2003. The audience loved her, the show was a huge hit and suddenly Jessica Simpson was a household name. Her third album, her most mature effort to date, In This Skin had appeared in July 2003 and though the accompanying single Sweetest Sin had been a moderate hit, the album had caused little excitement. Now, however, with Jessica at the height of popularity, the album was reworked and re-released in the spring of 2004.
Us Weekly recently reported that now that Nick and Jessica have wrapped up the Newlyweds, they'll be selling the home in Calabasas, California that was a fixture on the program. "They feel that the house is too public," a source revealed, "and they want to start fresh."
On November 23, 2005, after months of speculation on their marital status, Jessica and Nick Lachey have announced they are breaking up. Here's the official release:
"After three years of marriage, and careful thought and consideration, we have decided to part ways," the couple says in a joint statement issued by their respective publicists, Meredith O'Sullivan and Rob Shooter. On June 30, 2006, the divorce was finalized.
"This is the mutual decision of two people with an enormous amount of respect and admiration for each other. We hope that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."
Her much publicized romance with Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo kept Jessica in the limelight more than any of her professional efforts.
Though she keeps trying, reviews of her acting are less than complimentary. Her latest album, a country offering, "Do You Know" made a brief appearance at the top of the charts but quickly lost ground.
Aside from her show-biz pursuits, she wisely launched The Jessica Simpson Collection in 2005, a fashion line of clothing and other items. The brand went on to earn over $1 billion in annual revenue, and is regarded as one of the most successful celebrity founded brands ever. In 2016, she sold a majority stake in her Jessica Simpson Collection, helping the star amass a net worth of $170 million.
Jessica began dating ex-NFL tight end Eric Johnson in May 2010. They announced their engagement that November and married on July 5, 2014 at the San Ysidro Ranch, in Montecito, California. The couple have three children - Birdie Mae, Ace Knute and Maxwell Drew Johnson.