Simpson Camp Rejects Negative Press

Posted by Lisa Ann Schleipfer on 07/22/2008

Jessica Simpson is nothing if not an optimist. She gave her first performance in more than three years, and her first ever Country performance, this past Saturday at the Country Thunder festival in Wisconsin.

People magazine reported that Simpson walked on stage and said, "Coming out tonight makes me extremely emotional, I'm so thankful for all of the personal struggles and all of the tabloids and all of the people that talk s---," she told the crowd of 25,000. "I'm so happy I went through that because it makes life so much more beautiful."  She went on to perform for more than an hour, singing her new single and covering some country classics.

Enter the Kenosha News of Randall, Wisconsin, which reported the next day that Simpson's first country show was a flop.

Headlines Monday flew across the net, ringing out the news like the "Boos!" from Saturday night. But according to Simpson's camp, the story is just not true.

Father and manager Joe Simpson told The Tennessean today, "She sang a 90-minute set and killed it. Tony Romo was there with all of his family. He is from Burlington, which is 12 miles away, so 25 of his family members were there. It was a big, fun night and nothing but a, 'Yeah!' at the end."

The Kenosha News report said Simpson was greeted with a mixture of applause and boos. The story also contained quotes from several festival goers with less than stellar things to say about the blonde pop star.

Hecklers aside, Simpson's first country single, "Come On Over," has gone to the top 20 on the R&R and Mediabase charts. "If you put good stuff out about Jessica, there's going to be no coverage," Joe Simpson said. "If you put out something negative, it will be picked up nationally." He went on to say that any hecklers at the show were drowned out by cheers and applause for the aspiring County Music star.

There may be another explanation for the reported boos—that of simple football rivalry. Simpson dedicated the song "You're My Sunday," to Romo, her boyfriend and Dallas Cowboys' quarterback.

Country Thunder event producer Gil Cunningham told People, "You're going to get booed when you mention him [Romo] to a bunch of Packer fans."

Despite the is-she-or-isn't-she hype, Simpson will take the Grand Ole Opry stage on Sept. 6. Her first country album, Do You Know will hit stores Sept. 9.