Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Joe Simpson Talks About It All
So why have Jessica and Ashlee Simpson not turned out like Britney Spears? The reason is simple, says their dad and manager, Joe Simpson. "We have a real family," he told Fox News. "You can’t just put these kids out in the world and they’re on their own. I can remember a time when Jessica was singing at Madison Square Garden and her outfit ripped before she went on. We were there for her." Joe and wife, Tina, married almost 30 years ago when they were 20 and 18; today, they live in Encino, Calif.
Joe has been one manager/parent that has been seen as controlling. Joe does confess to being controlling in their careers, but says there personal lives are theirs. Joe says he had no control over Ashlee’s rhinoplasty, for example. "Girls have their own ideas," he said. "Anyway, there was a real problem with her breathing and that was cured.” He is very proud of his youngest daughter who is preparing the release of her third album on Geffen, with much of the producing by Timbaland and the Neptunes. Then she will hit the road again. "She has a huge following," Joe said.
Jessica, meanwhile, has just finished her role in Major Movie Star, a Private Benjamin for the 21st century. "We had a real director, Steve Miner, who would tell her if something wasn’t right." Joe said. Jessica did a lot of work to get up to speed as an actress. "When the movie wrapped, Steve told her, 'You’re going to be a movie star.'" She’s also going to be a country star. Simpson says Jessica’s next CD likely will be recorded in Nashville. "Willie Nelson really likes her," he said. "We’re going to go down there and really get into it." Given that Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney are on top of the pop charts this week, this doesn’t sound so bad. Before she goes country, though, Jessica will make another movie, this time in a role as a biker chick "with tattoos."
The former youth pastor is quite an American success story, which is why maybe so many media types are skeptical of him. But I say give him credit. He survived having Nick Lachey for a son-in-law, you know. "I have nothing against Nick," he told me. "But they got married very young. I told Jessica, 'You’re going to hit an age when it’s all going to be clear to you, life that is, and you’ll know what you want to do.'" Joe said, "I do blame 50 percent of their break-up on the media." And just in case you wondered about the couple’s Newlyweds show on MTV, it was not scripted. Jessica really did not know that Chicken of the Sea was canned tuna. "She had a very Lucy-like quality," Joe reflected, "and we went with it."
Joe is producing the TV show Women’s Murder Club comes from Joe’s recent friendship with best-selling novelist James Patterson and stars Angie Harmon of Law and Order fame. Joe also manages singer Ryan Cabrera and a few new acts, all of whom he’ll release on his own label, Papa Joe Records.