Ashlee Simpson Reflects On 'SNL' Lip-Sync Controversy 20 Years Later

By Rebekah Gonzalez

February 20, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Ashlee Simpson is looking back at her 2004 Saturday Night Live lip-sync controversy 20 years later. While appearing on a podcast this week, the singer revealed the tough experience taught her important lessons.

Back in October 2004, Simpson was getting ready to hit the stage as the musical guest on SNL when she discovered she had "two [vocal] nodules beating against each other" before the show. She was asked to perform with pre-recorded vocals. On a recent episode of the podcast Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson & Olivia Allen she recalled thinking, “My band has never practiced this, this is not going to go well. I can’t do this.”

She continued, “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.’”

“I feel like it was a humbling moment for me,” Simpson added. “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— people would say about you, awful, awful things.”

“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,’” she said. “I went back to SNL with my second album [I Am Me] 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.”

This summer, Simpson's debut album Autobiography will celebrate its 20th anniversary on July 20th. "I’m going to celebrate that album,” she revealed. “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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