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Ashlee Simpson Says Infamous ‘Saturday Night Live’ Lip-Syncing Fiasco Taught Her ‘The Power’ of Saying ‘No’

Ashlee Simpson Says SNL Lip Syncing Fiasco Taught Her the Power of No
Ashlee Simpson Lester Cohen/Getty Images for JBL

Ashlee Simpson is sharing an important lesson she learned from her Saturday Night Live lip-syncing fiasco nearly two decades later.

“I’ve never talked about or said, but it’s like the other thing is, learning as a woman, when you say no or as an artist or a human or whatever, that day I said ‘I will not go on, I don’t care. I can’t speak,’” Simpson, 39, said on the Monday, February 19, episode of the “Broad Ideas With Rachel Bilson & Olivia Allen” podcast.

While appearing as a musical guest for the late night sketch series in October 2004, Simpson was thrown when she began facing vocal issues before the show, quickly discovering she had “two nodules beating against each other” causing her to lose her voice. Despite initially saying she wasn’t going to perform, the singer claimed she was asked to hit the stage anyway with pre-recorded vocals.

“My band has never practiced this, this is not going to go well,” she recalled thinking. “I can’t do this.”

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Simpson ultimately went through with the show, first singing “Pieces of Me” with no issue. As she and her band began to cue up the second song, however, the vocal track for “Pieces of Me” began to play again instead. While the song cut out within seconds, fans were quick to point out that Simpson had been lip-syncing.

Simpson said that moment taught her “the power of my no” and “the power of me saying absolutely not.”

Ashlee Simpson Says SNL Lip Syncing Fiasco Taught Her the Power of No
Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage

“I feel like it was a humbling moment for me,” she said. “I had the number one song, it was, like, everything was about go, like, somewhere and then it was just, like, woah. The humility of not even understanding what grown a-s people would say about you, awful, awful things.”

Simpson said she learned how to tune her haters out, finding her strength through the process. She ultimately didn’t have to have surgery thanks to a vocal coach, who she said “saved [her] life.”

“I think having to find at a young age that strength to be like, ‘I am good at this and I will keep going, and I will keep fighting,’” Simpson said.

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After her 2004 performance on the NBC variety show, Simpson returned again in October 2005, but she can’t find a trace of it on the internet.

“’I went back to SNL with my second album and I can’t find it anywhere. I’ve searched and searched for that performance,” she said. “I was really nervous when I was on there and I can’t find it anywhere.”

After Simpson released her debut album, Autobiography, in July 2004, she dropped I Am Me and Bittersweet World in 2005 and 2008, respectively. She’s since released the 2012 single “Bat for a Heart” but hasn’t added any more music to her resume.

In honor of her debut album turning 20, Simpson exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month that she’s “starting to work on the rerelease,” and teases she may be dropping additional tracks.

“I’m going to celebrate that album,” she said. “Maybe I’ll go in and redo some of the songs, but I’m definitely going to do a performance around the anniversary.”

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