Ashlee Simspon reflects on her SNL lip syncing scandal 20 years later

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In 2004, Jessica Simpson's musical younger sister Ashlee Simpson's career was just taking off. When she made her first appearance on Saturday Night Live, it should've been a milestone moment for her budding career. Unfortunately, technical issues lead to a massively embarrassing scandal for the "Pieces Of Me" singer.

What happened to Ashlee Simpson on SNL?

During the final rehearsals for her performance in October 2004, Ashlee Simpson was struggling with losing her voice due to complications from acid reflux. Not wanting to cancel on the show and lose her moment in the spotlight, Simpson and her father asked their doctor for advice and were told to use a pre-recorded track of her singing during the performance.

Although lip syncing is fairly common in the music world, it's not without its critics, even in the modern day. In 2004, when viewers of SNL were expecting a live performance, the idea of lip syncing proved to be a big issue.

After performing her first song, "Pieces Of Me," Ashlee Simpson prepared to sing her second song of the night, "Autobiography," but instead, the track for her first song started playing again. An embarrassed Ashlee Simpson did an uncomfortable dance before exiting the stage and reappearing with that week's host, Jude Law, to say that her band accidentally played the wrong song.

MTV's TRL and 60 Minutes both covered the event and Ashlee Simpson was the talk of the entertainment industry with people accusing her of regularly lip syncing instead of singing live.

When asked, SNL producer Lorne Michaels said he wasn't previously asked if Simpson could lip sync and would have canceled her performance if he had known she was having vocal issues and wouldn't be performing live.

What does Ashlee Simpson think about her SNL lip syncing scandal today?

Ashlee Simpson appeared on The OC star Rachel Bilson's podcast, Broad Ideas, and naturally, she was asked about her 20-year old SNL scandal.

"It was a humbling moment for me."

Simpson, who shares a 15 year-old son, Bronx, with her ex-husband Pete Wentz and a daughter, Jagger, and son, Ziggy, with her husband Evan Ross said on the podcast that it was "humbling" to have the tech issues that lead to her lip syncing scandal. She said that at the time, her career was just about to take off and this put her in the spotlight for the completely wrong reasons.

"I think I had the No. 1 song, and everything was about to go somewhere, and then it was just like, ‘Whoa.' The humility of not even understanding what grown-a-- people would say about you -- like grown men -- awful, awful things," she said on the podcast.

According to the singer, who was only 20 when the scandal happened, she wishes that she would have had the strength to stand up to the music industry people that were pressuring her to perform despite her vocal issues.

"The power of me saying, ‘Absolutely not,' That's what I'd go back and say."

Still, Ashlee Simpson says she felt lucky to have fans that stuck by her despite the "awful, awful things" that people were saying about her during this time. Simpson went on to release two more albums after her debut and started making music under the name Ashlee + Evan with her husband in 2018.

Check out Ashlee Simpson's full appearance on Rachel Bilson's podcast below!