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In a revealing exclusive CW interview, Texas native and preacher’s kid Jessica Simpson talks candidly about her love of country music and how she had to fight to get to record it. Here’s part of what she had to say. For more on Jessica, check out the Sept. 22 issue of Country Weekly.
For more, check out the Sept. 22 issue of Country Weekly.
“Love is everything,” declares Jessica. “I think that going through a lot of breakups, you lose a lot of value in yourself and you lose a ton of self confidence. . .especially after going through a divorce. You go through this: This next relationship HAS to work . . . I’m going to make it work. Everything I have I’ll give over completely and conform to their world and just make this work. It’s not going to fail again. I’m not going to let it fail again. So you have that fear of failure and it cripples you. It truly cripples you from being who you really are because you’re constantly thinking about trying to make it not fail. So that’s a very dark place to be in to let others determine your happiness. I think for me when [Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo] came into my life I had no idea what I was falling for. I had no idea that it was going to happen to me again. When he came into my life, I was alone. I had my friends and my family but I wasn’t dating anybody, and I had to just rid myself of every guy and every opinion that they ever had on my life, and really sit there with myself . . . and I started writing all these songs and stuff and then all of a sudden Tony comes into my life and that’s when I started writing songs (for my country album) like: “You’re My Sunday,” “Man Enough” “Pray Out Loud” “Still Beautiful,” and “Come On Over.”
Jessica’s little mishap at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006 [where she sang “9 to 5” on stage in honor of Dolly], was an embarrassment for Jessica, but there’s more to the story than what the press reported at the time.
“Before I went out to sing, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me,” explains Jessica. “And I hadn’t been on stage since my divorce. That was my first time to be on stage. I just had come to realize I was afraid to get back on stage because I was afraid to show my heart again. And I was afraid to show my heart because it was so broken that I didn’t want the world to see it, and I didn’t even want to see it. I just wanted to be in denial, and just try to go through the motions of life. Being on stage for me is a very, very emotional experience, and I can’t not sing from my heart . . . especially singing for Dolly. I couldn’t pass up that opportunity because I have always adored her. So when I went out (on stage), I was nervous but my mind wasn’t there. It was like I was somewhere else . . . my heart was there for Dolly but my mind was just like: I couldn’t focus. I was just beating myself up. I had this nagging force in my brain that was like: what are you doing out here? You should not be out here, you’re not good enough to be out here. You should not be on this stage, you cannot sing, you’re not going to remember these words. It was like that. I even had cue cards in front of me, and I never do that. I had cue cards in front of me to sing the lyric and I just couldn’t let it sink in.
Now I see that I just did not want to be on stage. I wasn’t ready. When I messed up—even if the audience didn’t know it—I knew Dolly would know it. My chin just started quivering—there’s been a couple times I’ve broken down on stage, but not out of embarrassment. I just started crying. I said: “I’m so sorry Dolly, I’m just so nervous because I love you so much,” and I ran off the stage. I yelled at my dad and my mom and I was so angry, I was going through such a bad time. I was just like: I don’t ever want to sing again, the world can not have me any more, I’m shutting off . . . I just wanted to hide. I think it’s a natural feeling for someone who had their heart broken again.”