Ashlee Simpson: Being My Own Individual

Ashlee Simpson Cover Issue 19There’s no coincidence that the second single off Ashlee Simpson’s number-one debuting album, Autobiography, is called “Shadow.” The song co-written by Ashlee, deals with her feelings about emerging out from under big sis Jessica’s MTV fame. But Ashlee is more than ready for her share of the spotlight.

However, she wasn’t quite ready for the struggles of making Autobiography. Ashlee had to overcome label executives who wanted her to sound like her sister. “You’re going from label to label and people are saying you’re going to be like your sister, and I’m like, ‘No, I am my own individual.’ That was hard,” she says. The result is a rock-tinged pop record that is not at all like her sibling’s diva-esque ballads. She also co-wrote all the songs on the record, a feat Ashlee is proud of, “Walking in with nothing and coming up with a song that you know means so much to you, it’s so cool,” she says.

The support of her family and friends keep Ashlee grounded, and her advice to teens who are facing personal challenges echoes her strong sense of self: “My best advice would be to stay true to yourself and do what you want to do. Always listen to your instincts and go with them because they’re usually right.”

Ashlee Simpson


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