That hair, the romances, the stage dad, those sky-high platform heels, and the football jinx - you probably think you know the whole Jessica Simpson story. So we asked her family, colleagues, and most important, her hairstylist for the things you don't know about the indomitable pop star-turned-country crooner.
Grew up in: Richardson, TXEducation: J.J. Pearce High School; left at 16 to tourFirst single: "I Wanna Love You Forever" (2000)Big break: Newlyweds (2003)Albums: FiveMovies: The Dukes of Hazzard, Employee of the Month, Blonde Ambition, the straight-to-DVD Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous (which will be released on February 3, 2009)The brand: The Jessica Simpson Collection Product categories: 11 (footwear, fragrance, handbags, swimwear, outerwear, sunglasses, belts, hats, jewelry, scarves, tween footwear)Estimated retail sales of the footwear alone in 2008: $250 millionTHE REAL HER
1. CHECK HOG: "Jessica never lets you treat for dinner. I'd have to go in, put a credit card down, and tell the waitress, 'If you let the bill go her way, I will choke you.'" - Vivica A. Fox, costar, Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous
2. NO DUMB BLONDE: "She's got street smarts. Now, those streets might be dirt roads, but she knows what she's doing." - Andy Dick, costar, Employee of the Month and Blonde Ambition
3. TRUE STORY: "People don't realize what an incredibly shy girl Jessica is. Her public persona completely conflicts with who she really is as a person." - Charlie Walk, president of Epic Records
4. PHONE IT IN: "When we wrote for her record, we'd sit down and start going through her old text messages and e-mails. We had so much to draw from, especially when it came to love. She's got a really old soul." - songwriter Brett James, coproducer, Do You Know
5. THE BOSS OF ME: "Jessica's a very strong-willed businesswoman. At one point, I said, 'You want to talk to your dad?' She said, 'Oh, no, my dad works for me.'" - Greg Coolidge, director, Employee of the Month
6. CRY BABY: "Her tears in 'I Belong to Me' were real, not makeup." - Matthew Rolston, video director
7. FATHER KNOWS BEST: "She's not willing to be defeated by failure." - Joe Simpson, father and manager
8. ONE OF THE GUYS: "She's not such a girly-girl. You can hang out, drink a beer with her, and tell dirty jokes." - Brett Ratner, director, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and "A Public Affair"
9. HOMEGROWN: "She's not this glamour, Hollywood, glitzed-out bitch cat. She looks like one, but she is the sweetest apple-pie, corn-fed farmer's daughter type." - Andy Dick
10. ENERGY SOURCE: "Because of Jessica, we don't have to make decisions like, Are we not going to pay the power bill or the water bill this month?" - Chris White, spokesperson, Casa Hogar Elim Orphanage in Mexico, where she donated a minivan
11. BABY LOVE: "She's my son's godmother. She was actually in the operating room, and all she had were 6-inch platform shoes, so she had to wear blue booties over them. She gave Dylan his first bath." - Erin Alexander, friend
12. HAND-HOLDER: "Jessica came with us on a mission in Nakuru, Kenya, and instantly bonded with this tiny, chubby 8-month-old baby, Boki. Her mother was scared to death about the facial surgery. Jessica took the baby into the operating room and held her when they gave her anesthesia. Jess was the last person Boki saw when she went in and the first person she saw when she woke up." - Dee Dee Sides, New York development director of the nonprofit Operation Smile
13. HEART AND SOUL: "She don't look down on anybody; she just looks straight ahead. I don't think the girl could ever do anybody wrong, I really don't." - Loretta Lynn
14. JUST SAY NO: "I tried to get her to smoke pot in public - she never would.Wouldn't do it in private, either." - Jay Chandrasekhar, director, The Dukes of Hazzard
15. GOOD IN BED: "We slept on trundle beds next to each other until she was 11 or 12. She had her own room, but it was just more comfortable for us to sleep together." - Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, sister
16. SAX APPEAL: "Jessica played the saxophone for three years in junior high school. It was when The Simpsons had just come out, and she would stand in the kitchen and play 'Do the Bartman' on her saxophone, while Ashlee would dance. It was pretty hilarious." - Tina Simpson, mother
17. RUB-A-DUB: "When she was little, she wouldn't get in the bathtub because she thought a shark was going to come out of the drain and get her." - Tina Simpson
19. SHE IS LEGEND: "People ought to give her a chance. She's got a great voice, she's beautiful - I don't know what else they want!" - Loretta Lynn
20. TRUNK SHOW: "A few years ago, we were going to Eva Longoria's house for dinner, and Jess said, 'I don't want to go to Eva's house for the first time and bring the paparazzi with us! That's so lame!' I was like, 'Fine, then get in the trunk.' I don't know if her blonde hair was sticking out of the trunk or what, but they followed us all the way from my house to Eva's. And we were talking back and forth, all while she was in the trunk." - Ken Paves, hairstylist
21. ALTER EGO: "Her nickname is Angela. It started with Ken when they were in a store and people were pointing her out. So Ken was like, 'Hey, Angela!' to make them think it wasn't her. It actually worked back then." - Erin Alexander
18. HER SISTER'S KEEPER:
"Jessica seems sweet, but she's very protective of her little sister. I've seen her lay it down when somebody was picking on me." - Ashlee Simpson-Wentz
22. MATCHY-MATCHY: "In the '80s, her hair scrunchie had to match her socks before she would go to school." - Tina Simpson
23. THE NATURAL: "When we're together, we're usually in our sweats, just hanging out at my parents' house. She's definitely her most comfortable - and she's the most beautiful - that way. She doesn't need an ounce of makeup." - Ashlee Simpson-Wentz
24. LOW-MAINTENANCE: "She only washes her hair about two to three times a month. I told Jess a long time ago that you should only wash your hair a few times a week, and in between, rinse it and condition it. And her hair looks fantastic all the time." - Ken Paves
25. COOL CUSTOMER: "The girl does not sweat! It was literally 116 degrees out when we shot the video 'Come on Over' on a ranch. I remember drinking Gatorade and having frizzy hair - and I look over at her and see this beautiful object in front of the camera and think, Well, that's annoying." - Liz Friedlander, video director
26. INCOGNITO: "Years ago, we went through this poetry phase, so we went to a little bookstore in Los Feliz. She had her hair pulled back, looking like Bookworm McGillicutty, and we were standing in line, and this girl says to Jessica, 'Please don't take this personally, but you look like a really smart version of Jessica Simpson.' And Jessica busted out laughing and said, 'No, she's beautiful. Thank you.'" - Ken Paves
27. MAKEUP MACGYVER: "She taught me a trick: Take red Kool-Aid powder, get it a little wet, and dab it on to stain your lips. It's cute and stays on." - Jessie Holiday, Simpson's former backup dancer and hairstylist
FROM THE BESTIE
28. LUCKY CHARM: "Jessica always has the best luck. If there's a raffle, she'll win it - or anything having to do with fantasy football or a horse race. That's why it's so ironic everybody in Dallas calls her The Jinx." - CaCee Cobb, friend
29. EYE JOB: "One time Jessica was spending the night, and we were sharing a bed because I only had a one-bedroom at the time. And she gets in bed, and I look over and catch her taking her disposable contacts out and throwing them on the carpet. I was like, 'Oh, my God, what are you doing?' And she was like, 'I'm taking my contacts out.' I said, 'You're throwing them on my floor!' She said, 'They dissolve when they hit the air.' I was like, 'No, they don't! I've been stepping on them.'" - CaCee Cobb
30. ACED IT! "Jessica does a really good impression of Ace Ventura. She won't do it for a lot of people, but it's this funny walk and laugh." - Ashlee Simpson-Wentz
31. CHOWTIME: "She makes great homemade macaroni-and-cheese and chicken and dumplings." - Tina Simpson
32. SKY'S THE LIMIT: "She takes a lot of eccentric, abstract photos and has this whole series of amazing clouds. She'll even take her sunglasses and use them as a different lens color to alter the photos." - Tina Simpson
33. MAGIC WAND "She does my makeup all the time. She does a great smoky eye - she even contours my cheekbones." - Mary Phillips, Simpson's makeup artist
34. BOSOM BUDDIES: "I don't think people realize what a fun little rascal she is. She's full of funny stories and risqué jokes . . . not vulgar, just raunchy-funny. And she's not unlike me in that department." - Dolly Parton
35. GEEK SQUAD: "She's ridiculous with electronics. Jessica is the only one who can figure out all of our cameras, all of our computers, the Blu-ray Disc player." - Ken Paves
36. LEAD FOOT:
"She drives incredibly well. I mean, she's like freaking Batman." - Mary Phillips
37. TASTY DELIGHT: "Every now and then, she'll bring over this Tupperware, and we all know just by looking that there's, like, heaven in there: her Nana's homemade pralines." - Mary Phillips
38. MUNCHIES: "Back when we were on tour, she introduced me to her favorite ice cream that's made in Texas: Blue Bell Cookies 'n Cream ice cream. We bought some, ate a little on the bus, and then put it in the freezer and checked in to our hotel. But in the middle of the night, we got the code to get into the tour bus, then went in, sat down, and ate the whole tub." - Jessie Holiday
39. ETERNAL FLAME: "There's a certain candle that she loves - Votivo #96 in Red Currant - so I made sure to have one going every time she was in the studio." - Brett James
"We have to watch the Cowboys games at home, not in a public space, because she yells at the TV." - Stephanie McGuire, childhood friend and current assistant
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