Editor’s note: Jessica Simpson talks more about her life and career in the new episode of CMT Insider debuting Saturday (Aug. 16) at 1:30 p.m. ET/PT.
“Everybody has a preconceived notion of who Jessica Simpson is. They just do.”
If anyone understands this particular concept, it’s Jessica Simpson, herself, and that was just one of the observations she made during a recent interview with CMT Insider. She understands fully that pop music, movies and TV made her an A-list celebrity, but her long-term career commitment is in the more subdued world of country music. She’s already performing her style of country at fairs and festivals, and her first country album, Do You Know, will be released Sept. 9 by Columbia Nashville.
Even though most people insist they don’t believe everything they read, Simpson acknowledges that the public is still buying copies of tabloids and celebrity magazines.
“So it’s still in the back of your mind,” she told CMT Insider prior to a concert at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. “You still know the story of what you read.”
She’s hoping her album will help dispel many of the myths and misconceptions.
“I think that my music is going to finally allow people to really examine my heart and see what I’ve been through, and I think that people will relate to it,” she said. “Making my transition into country music was not about selling records or making money or using country fans to go buy tickets — or anything like that. It wasn’t about that at all. It was really just about going to Nashville and writing with some of my favorite writers and singing about heartbreak and about my story and then about perseverance.
“I think country music is really about that lyric. … The pop music that I was doing, the lyrics would just be lost in the beat of the song. I think country music really allows the song to actually be a song and be a moment in a story.”
In July, Simpson performed her first country concert at Country Thunder USA, a festival in Wisconsin. Based upon a story that ran in a small newspaper, the Internet went wild with headlines claiming the fans booed her. Reports from others who witnessed the show revealed that the newspaper account was greatly exaggerated, to say the very least.
Simpson says she didn’t detect any negativity whatsoever from the crowd. In fact, she and her boyfriend, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, celebrated her performance.
“I walked off the stage so proud,” she said. “My boyfriend picked me up and twirled me around. His whole family was there. My whole family was there, and everybody was just ecstatic. I felt like I sang my butt off, and I couldn’t be happier.”
She adds, “I never once heard anybody boo. And if they did, I think that by the end, they understood that I was up there for a reason and that my purpose is to get up here and sing my butt off and that I do have a calling and I do have a talent. People just haven’t seen it in a long time.”
Simpson says she’s fortunate to have met Romo.
“Tony is an amazing — amazing — guy and an amazing boyfriend, and I’m very blessed to be a part of his life and have him be a part of my life,” she said. “He’s really just allowed me to feel comfortable again and just be really confident in who I am.”
Their time together is concentrated on the simple things of life.
“Tony and I definitely do what normal couples would do,” she said. “What you would probably never expect us to do, we do it. We go to movies. We see everything that comes out. He loves to go to this place called the Movie Grill and get pizza and nachos. … But I love that simplicity … how we can just be ourselves with each other.”
This interview was conducted by CMT Insider producer Tim Hardiman.