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The Ashlee Conundrum

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I am perplexed by the Ashlee Simpson phenomenon: has any young performer with career in first bloom ever had more grim publicity relating to actual performing ability (as opposed to off the field antics) in her first year than young Miss Simpson, and yet blithely continued to skip through the tulips as if nothing were amiss?

First, the most notorious lipsyncing scandal since Milli Vanilli erupted in October over her aborted SNL performance, then at Tuesday night’s Orange Bowl halftime performance, she SANG this time, but she sang her latest single “La La” so badly she was actually booed by the crowd, which typically wouldn’t give a rodent’s rectum about something as trivial as a halftime performance.

You can download the performance and relive the magic for yourself here.

And yet her MTV reality show returns January 26 and the ’04 sales figures for her Autobiography pop-rock album were just released, and, son of a biscuit if she didn’t have the 9th best-selling album of the year with almost 2.6 million units sold – a puzzle indeed.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://mike.shelikesit.net mrbenning

    I think the majority of those sales were from the first three weeks it was out. I worked at a record store at the time and we sold out of the album twice. After that it was a really slow mover.

    It’s important to remember that most of her fans are too young to pay attention and their parents tend to be blind to popular opinion.

    This is contrary to her sister, Jessica, who seems to appeal to a slightly older crowd.

  • Eric Olsen

    good points and info, thanks Mr B

  • http://www.thebeautifullull.com Tom Johnson

    I would like to see sales figures for the album immediately after the SNL debacle. I would imagine there’s a drastic difference in numbers there.

    I wonder, however, why people are holding her any more accountable than any other “performers” out there such as Britney Spears, who so obviously lipsyncs nearly everything she does. They’re both charting the same basic territory – maybe Ashlee is a bit more “rock” oriented, but the target-market is basically the same. Maybe it’s the assumption that, because big sister Jessica can sing, she can too, and people were let down? No, I don’t think that’s it. This, to me, falls more into simply being an easy target – her fall was a big public display due to it being SNL and not just a concert that happened somewhere. Most of the people who normally listen to this kind of music are going to take the opportunity to toss a few insults out to feel a part of the “community event” it’s become to make fun of her, that and that it’s kind of a bonding type experience between people when they can ridicule the same thing. Then they go back home and listen to Britney Spears without the slightest thought of their own hypocrisy.

  • Vinnie

    People are so down on Ashlee Simpson for a number of reason.

    1) She’s playing Tito to Jessica’s Michael.

    2) We were having her crammed down our throats through the endless MTV commercials & hearding her on top 40 stations around the country every hour.

    3) She said in a magazine article that she’d never lipsync & blasted people for doing it.

    4) When she was caught lipsycing on national TV, she blamed it on her band being incompitent & playing the wrong song.

    70,000 plus people at a football game cannot be controled with an illuminated “APPLAUSE” sign like a studio audience can. They let Shlee, her father, her record company, MTV and those that are paid to force-feed us her songs on the radio that the American public is smarter than they’ve given us credit for & we can see right through their mountainous pile of BS.

    -Vinnie-

  • Sean

    I actually like that she’s playing–or singing, rather–her band is good and plays rock-n-roll. No, she’s not a great singer. Not live, at least. But neither was Patti Smith. The problem is not her voice. It’s the manufacture of pop stars. She’s a kid who probably doesn’t deserve to be thrown into the maelstrom when there is so much (tons of) other crap floating around out there.

    She’s a symptom.

  • MT

    Sean — Patti Smith and Ashlee Simpson in the same breath? What planet you living on? Smith is talented, intelligent, hypnotic, insightful and pure. Simpson is trite, manufactured, and disposable. Get real!

  • Sean

    MT,

    You’re right. I knew someone would jump down my throat about that. Rather than explain myself further, I prefer to simply retract my earlier post.

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Saw Ashlee perform with Jessica on Jessica and Nick’s holiday show. Ashlee really does have a nice voice. As for the Orange Bowl, every performer was bad. Kelly Clarkson’s microphone went out. And you could not even hear the next two singers. Which was fortunate.

  • Eric Olsen

    I think the boos may have had more to do with risidual SNL disgust than what she did that night – it wasn’t all that bad under the circumstances, certainly nothing out of theordinary for a live performance at a freaking football stadium