9 Things You Didn’t Know About Ashlee Simpson

  

Although she came into the spotlight as Jessica Simpson’s little sis, Ashlee has made a name for herself over the years and is now considered a celebrity in her own right. Even though she’s still in her early 30s, she’s already had quite the career, going from acting to music and then back to acting. She’s about to celebrate a birthday, which is why we have 9 things you didn’t know about the singer-actress:

9. Upbringing

Ashlee Nicole Simpson was born in Waco, Texas, October 3, 1984 to Tina and Joseph, a former psychologist and Baptist youth minister. She has one older sister, Jessica, who is famous for her reality TV show Nick & Jessica: Newlyweds. When she was three, she started studying classical ballet and she enrolled at the School of American Ballet in New York City when she was 11. In 1999, the Simpson family moved to L.A. so that Jessica could pursue her music career.

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8. Backup Dancer

Following the success of Jessica’s first album Sweet Kisses, Ashlee became a backup dancer of her sister’s tour. “Jessica was like, ‘You’re as good as or even better than most dancers,’” Ashlee told YM. “It was the most exciting thing for me because I was only fourteen.” She toured with Jessica for three years, but it wasn’t always easy. At times, some of the other dancers were mean to her because she was Jessica’s little sister.

7. Getting into Acting

While still performing as a backup dancer for her sister Jessica, the aspiring star began auditioning for acting roles. Her first role was a guest appearance on Malcolm in the Middle in 2001. The following year she landed a small role in the movie, The Hot Chick, and that same year she was cast as Cecilia Smith on 7th Heaven, a role she held for season seven and season eight.

6. Getting into Music

After experiencing some success in the acting business, the budding singer tested the waters in the music business. Her debut song, “Just Let Me Cry,” appeared on the soundtrack for the Disney movie Freaky Friday, which featured Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis as a mother and daughter who switch bodies. A month later, she signed with Geffen Records to record a pop-rock album.

5. Becoming the Opposite of Jessica

When the 7th Heaven actress was first looking for a record contract, music executives were pressuring her to make a pop album like her sister Jessica’s, which Ashlee didn’t want. She wanted to distance herself from her sister so much that she even refused to meet with Jessica’s label, Columbia, because she wanted to be signed because of her music and not her sister’s. Lucky for her, Geffen Records was willing to help her differentiate herself from Jessica and she was able to co-write some of the songs on her debut album.

4. Eating Disorder

While she was studying ballet at the School of American Ballet in New York City, she developed an eating disorder. “When I went to ballet school, I was around a lot of girls with eating disorders, and I actually had a minor one myself,” she told Contact Music. “It was about six months of not eating too much at all. I was 11 and five foot, two inches and about 70 pounds. My parents stepped in and made me eat.”

3. Getting Fired

In 2009, the singer was cast as Violet Foster the CW’s revamp of the ‘90s hit television show Melrose Place. Although she was supposed to be a series regular, after 12 episodes, her character was killed off. She claims that she was aware of this all along, but sources told Us Weekly that she was killed off because she couldn’t act. “They hired her because they needed a good name to help create buzz,” a set insider told Us Weekly. “But she was embarrassingly bad. Producers cut her down as much as possible.” Jessica confirmed this when she went on Twitter and accused the show of using Ashlee for free press.

2. Love Life

When she was first launching her career as a singer, she was dating Josh Henderson. Their relationship and breakup was featuring during season one of her reality TV show, The Ashlee Simpson Show. She then dated musician Ryan Carbera who was also featured in her reality TV show and she appeared in his music video for “On the Way Down.” In 2005, she was spotted kissing Wilmer Valderrama. She dated drummer Braxton Olita from 2005 to 2006 before she hooked up with her first husband Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. They were married in 2008, welcomed their son Bronx that same year and divorced in 2011. After separating from Wentz, she began dating actor Vincent Piazza, breaking up with him in 2012. In 2013, she hooked up with Evan Ross, singer Diana Ross’ son. They were married in 2014 and welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Jagger, in 2015.

1. Professional Struggles

In October 2004, Ashlee was caught lip-syncing on Saturday Night Live. She was scheduled to be singing “Autobiography” when a recorded vocal track of “Pieces of Me” began playing instead. After the debacle, she claimed that acid reflux had necessitated the use of a backing track. “I couldn’t control what happened that day,” she said. “People always say things that are hurtful, and I encourage my fans to do what I do and not read what people are saying on the Internet … In a couple of days everyone’s attention will be on someone else.” That didn’t happen though. In January 2005, at the Orange Bowel, she got booed on national television as she performed her latest single at the time “La La.”