Ashlee Simpson Reveals Why She Decided To Lip-Sync On ‘SNL’ 20 Years Ago, And It’s A Solid Excuse

The “Pieces of Me” singer said the 2004 scandal helped her learn “the power of saying no.”
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2000s pop queen Ashlee Simpson reflected recently on her 2004 “Saturday Night Live” lip-sync scandal and offered a pretty reasonable explanation as to why she decided to sing over a recorded track.

Simpson said on Monday’s episode of the “Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson & Olivia Allen” podcast that she was scheduled to appear on the comedy sketch show as a musical guest but realized soon after a rehearsal that something was terribly wrong.

“I was like, ’Oh shit … I’m losing my fucking voice. What am I going to do?” Simpson recalled. “And the next morning I woke up and I couldn’t speak.”

Simpson said she immediately went to see a doctor and discovered she had “two nodules beating against each other.”

Ashlee Simpson performs on “Saturday Night Live” on Oct. 23, 2004.
Ashlee Simpson performs on “Saturday Night Live” on Oct. 23, 2004.
NBC via Getty Images

Simpson said she should have backed out of the gig but was pressured into lip-syncing two songs on the show by a label executive.

Simpson seamlessly synced her first song, “Pieces of Me.” But when she came back onstage later in the show to perform “Autobiography,” her band began playing the right instrumentals but the vocals played over the sound system were the opening lyrics of “Pieces of Me” — revealing the trick to the audience. Simpson did an awkward jig on stage as her band began to play “Pieces of Me,” but she eventually walked offstage and the show cut to commercial.

The former pop star, who was a bona fide “it girl” before the incident, received an onslaught of negative media attention afterward.

“I feel like it was a humbling moment for me,” Simpson said. “I had the No. 1 song. It was like everything was about go somewhere, and then it was just, like, ‘Woah.’ The humility of not even understanding what grown-ass people would say about you — awful, awful things.”

Simpson admitted that there was one silver lining, however. The experience taught her “the power of saying no.”

Simpson and her husband, Evan Ross, attend a Grammy party earlier this month.
Simpson and her husband, Evan Ross, attend a Grammy party earlier this month.
Elyse Jankowski via Getty Images

“Looking back, the power of my no and the power of me saying ‘Absolutely not,’ that’s what I would go back and say,” Simpson said.

She said the fiasco helped her learn how to “tune out” the haters — and she quickly moved on.

Simpson said Monday that she went on to work with a vocal coach who helped her deal with her nodule issues without getting surgery and was able to record and release her second album, “I Am Me,” in 2005, which debuted at No. 1 in the U.S.

She returned to “SNL” to perform songs from “I Am Me” in 2005 without a hitch.

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