Until recently, Texas-born pop starlet Jessica Simpson was best known for her background role in the Britney Spears-Christina Aguilera dominated battle for the pop radio airwaves. Even early on, Jessica was relegated to the background after being rejected from the Mickey Mouse Club, whose alumni include both Spears and Aguilera, as well as Justin Timberlake and Keri Russell. This has been compounded by a lifelong struggle with her weight as well as her own hormones (as a staunch Christian, Jessica believes in premarital abstinence).

Born on July 10, 1980 in Dallas, TX, Jessica Ann Simpson honed her singing skills in her church choir. Her father, Joe, was a psychologist who also served as a youth minister for the church. Following her rejection as a Mouseketeer at the age of 12, Jessica spent the summer at Bible Camp, where her talent was discovered by the head of a small Christian music label. Jessica spent the next three years working on a debut album that would never be released. Since her record label folded before the album was completed, it only saw the light of day in a limited pressing financed by Jessica's grandmother.

Despite this setback, Jessica eventually became so popular on the Christian Youth Conference Circuit that she managed to parlay it into a recording contract with Sony. Prior to the release of her major label debut Sweet Kisses in 1999, Jessia went on tour as a supporting act for boyband 98 Degrees, where she met her future husband (and co-star), singer Nick Lachey.

Sweet Kisses yielded several hit singles for Jessica, including I Wanna Love You Forever and I Think I'm in Love. While Sweet Kisses effectively launched her into pop stardom, its momentum proved fleeting. Her second studio effort, Irresistible, was released to lackluster sales in 2001.

Jessica married her longtime boyfriend the following year, in a move that (unbeknownst to anyone at the time) would revitalize both of their careers. After a few guest appearances on That 70s Show, Jessica would eventually establish herself as a prime-time staple with the 2003 debut of The Newlyweds, a reality show centered around the daily trials and tribulations of the young couple.

Jessica's popularity skyrocketed, leading to the re-release to her third album In This Skin in spring 2004. Around the same time, ABC introduced The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour for those who just couldn't get enough of America's new sweethearts. In a dramatic turn of events, although Jessica's sitcom pilot was apparently rejected by ABC for its 2004 fall line-up, she was officially cast in the role of Daisy Duke in the upcoming The Dukes of Hazzard movie, a part highly coveted by none other than Britney Spears.

Jessica's other endeavors currently include a line of edible fragrances and cosmetics called Dessert, as well as being the official co-spokeswoman for Hershey's Liquid Ice mints with her sister Ashlee. And for those of you who still believe that there is not enough Jessica Simpson out there, she is set to embark on the Jessica Simpson Reality Tour which begins in New Orleans on June 4th, 2004.

Jessica's favorite hobby is shopping, and she is known to count Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, and bebe among her favorite labels. Her favorite movie of all time is Pretty Woman, and she can lay claim to the distinction of being first on Maxim magazine's list of the 100 hottest women in the world in 2004.

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