Jessica Simpson Grabs Attention at CMA Music Festival

Fans Rush Into Nashville Convention Center for Autograph Session

When news spread that Jessica Simpson and Alan Jackson would be signing autographs in the CMA Music Festival’s Fan Fair Hall, hundreds of fans began lining up early Friday morning (June 6) for a chance to get a signature and have their photos taken with the stars.

A crush of overly-enthusiastic fans resulted in scattered, sporadic pushing and shoving when the doors of the Nashville Convention Center opened at 10 a.m., the announced start time for Simpson’s scheduled two-hour appearance. Within minutes, though, the fans were lining up as they normally do — in an orderly fashion — and Simpson was signing her name and flashing her familiar smile as she stood beside admirers from throughout the U.S.

Before the doors opened, the line of fans extended from the convention center’s entrance on Commerce Street, around the corner to Fourth Avenue in front of the Ryman Auditorium and around the other corner to Broadway. A similar line is expected Saturday (June 7) when Taylor Swift is scheduled to sign autographs for the entire day.

Like other artists, Simpson is capitalizing on the four-day festival to create a bond with country fans before the fall release of her first country album. Her first single, “Come On Over,” debuted this week at No. 41 on Billboard’s country chart, making it the highest-chart debut for a solo artist with no prior history on the country chart.

On Wednesday night (June 4), Simpson attended a private party her record label, Columbia Nashville, hosted for country radio programmers. She was also introduced briefly Thursday night (June 5) during the CMA Music Festival’s first concert of the year at LP Field. The show featured performances by Jennifer Hanson, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler, Luke Bryan, Jewel, Taylor Swift, Sugarland and Rascal Flatts.

Jackson and his wife, Denise, also attracted a massive crowd when they began signing autographs at noon. She is the author of two books, It’s All About Him and The Road Home. He performs Saturday night (June 7) at LP Field on a bill that includes Jason Michael Carroll, Craig Morgan, Little Big Town, Jamey Johnson, Rodney Atkins, Darryl Worley, Trace Adkins, Alan Jackson and Kenny Rogers.

View photos from Jessica Simpson and Alan Jackson’s appearances at the 2008 CMA Music Festival.