IT MAY have been 14 years since Ashlee Simpson was busted lip-synching on Saturday Night Live, but neither she nor the general public has managed to forget it.
On that fateful night in 2004, Jude Law had just reintroduced the up-and-coming 20-year-old pop star to the stage after an earlier performance of her breakout hit Pieces Of Me.
As the crowd’s cheers died down, instead of the opening bars of Simpson’s second song Autobiography, the vocals for Pieces Of Me began playing once again, before she’d even raised the microphone to her mouth — exposing the fact that she had not (gasp) been singing live. In the stunned silence that followed, and as the band slowly stopped playing music, Simpson broke into some kind of bizarre jig before walking offstage altogether.
Here’s a reminder, if you can bear cringing through it again:
She later appeared before the credits rolled, saying: “I feel so bad. My band started playing the wrong song. I didn’t know what to do so I thought I’d do a hoedown.”
In a sneak peek clip from the first episode of Simpson and husband Evan Ross’ new reality series, Ashlee + Evan, she opened up about the backlash.
“S**t happened, and it was like — boom,” Simpson, 33, remembered. “And the world hated me for this SNL moment I had.”
The mum-of-two described the fallout from the incident as “humbling”.
“For me, it the was the most humbling experience of my life,” she said. “The whole world thinks everything that you just put your heart and soul into writing is a joke — and that sucked.”
To her credit, the singer returned to SNL a year later and redeemed herself with a live performance.
Simpson added that she’d grown from the experience, and refused to let it scare her off.
“For me, I went back in. I made a second record. It was number 1, and I made a third record,” she said. “I toured all of these amphitheatres, and I don’t think the world knows that I got to that place.”