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Q: You've been all over the place these days, huh?
A: I just got back from traveling all over Europe. I went to Sweden, Germany, Holland, and Italy. But I don't like the food in Europe. And I'm always hungry, so I ate lots of protein shakes and peanut butter sandwiches.

Q: You started singing when you were very young, right?
A: The first solo I did was when I was 5-singing "Amazing Grace" in church-and I've been performing ever since then.


Q: Did you have any rough times along the way?
A: When I was 12, I tried out for the Mickey Mouse Club, but didn't make the final cut. I was devestated. I was crushed.

Q: That must've been really tough.
A: Yeah, but my mom and dad kept encouraging me to pursue my dreams 'cause they knew I had the talent to do it. So I started taking voice lessons, acting classes, and dancing.

Q: What happened to you this year? We hear you've been through a lot.
A: It's been a hard year for me, physically. When I was in Boston I had to go to the hospital because I had a cyst the size of a volleyball attached to my fallopian tube. I had to have major surgery. After only five days, I was back out singing, so I never had a chance to recoup. Then when I was on the Ricky Martin tour I got an upper respiratory infection, and I could barely talk. So they put me on these steroid packs and antibiotics to help the inflammation in my throat. That killed my immune system, and I got this terrible kidney infection. It was very scary, but I'm much better now.

Q: That's such a relief to hear. How do you deal with life's ups and downs?
A: Well, my religious beliefs have helped me so much along the way. I wouldn't be where I am today without my faith. It plays a major role in my whole attitude about life.

Q: Plus, you've got your family on tour with you, right?
A: My sister, ashley, who's 15, is one of my dancers. I love having her on the road with me. My mom and dad come too. I like having them there. They keep me stable.

Q: Do you find it hard to be a role model for girls?
A: I love being a role model! I want them to have somebody positive to look up to.

Q: Are your friends back home cool with your success?
A: They don't act weird about my success at all. They're all so proud. We're super close and still hang out when I go back home to Dallas. And when I'm on the road, my cell phone calls are always to them!

Q: Okay, so tell us about the first time you heard your song on the radio!
A: I was in New York City with my dad when I first heard "I Wanna Love You Forever" on the radio. We were in the car, and it came on. It was the coolest thing ever. I rolled down the windows and stuck my head out to see if the other cars were listening to it, too. It's weird knowing that they're listening to your song.

Q: Let's talk about shopping! Do you love it? A: Oh, yeah, shopping is my hobby. I just bought these wild red snakeskin boots. I love them. As far as brands. I like GUESS?, bebe, and Abercrombie.

Q: Okay, now for beauty secrets. Got any you wanna share?
A: I always wash my face at night no matter how tired I am. And I drink gallons of water every day.

Q: Who do you think are the five coolest guys in the biz?
A: Nick Lachey, Ricky Martin, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, and Lenny Kravitz.

Q: Keeping on the celeb topic, which stars were you most excited to meet?
A: There are two. I met Brian McKnight at a recording studio and Jennifer Love Hewitt at the Billoard Awards.

Q: What are you fave things? Do you collect anything?
A: I used to collect pigs, little stuffed pigs. And Nick bought me a real pig. It's in some pig sanctuary so we don't actually take care of it.


Q: Speaking of that 98 degrees cutie...was it love at first sight?
A: The sparks were definately flying. He made the first move. His mom said, "If you let that girl go you're crazy." So when Nick called to ask me out on a date he said, "Jessica, I'm taking my mom's advice."

Q: What's the sweetest thing he's ever done for you?
A: It was when I was in Chicago and he was in New York. He took a little puddle jumper, one of those itty-bitty planes to surprise me. I had been calling him and he wasn't answering his phone because he was on the plane. I was so mad, I fet dirty messages. When his plane landed he called me on the cell phone and said, "Jessica, you need to know that there's going to be something special at your door. I called room service and had them deliver something to you." So I'm thinking, What did he do? Get me a cheesecake at 1:00 in the morning? I opened the door and Nick was standing right there!

Q: Should we expect any more duets from you two?
A: I wish! We love singing together. I would like to put one on every album I do.

Q: You sound sooo in love. Have you ever had your heart broken by a guy?
A: Once, I was crazy for this one guy, but he wasn't into me because I wouldn't mess around with him. He definately wasn't worth it!

Q: Any embarrassing stories to share?
A: I'm always embarrassing myself. The other day I was on the beach and a seagull swooped down and pooped all over my legs. It was hilarious! I screamed. Everyone was laughing.

Q: So, if you weren't singing, you'd want to be...
A: A therapist! I love listening and talking to people.

Q: What are your wishes and hopes for the future?
A: I hope to always be singing. And I'd like also to make movies someday. I have this dream of doing a Bodyguard-Whitney Houstin type of thing. I'd like to be able to sing on a soundtrack. Of course, I hope that I'm married and have some children. I just want a normal life.

Q: What's the best advice you've ever gotten?
A: My mom told me that if a person is beautiful on the inside, then it doesn't matter about anything else. She always says, "pretty is as pretty does." I try to live by that: Be real, kind and treat people like the way I want to be treated.

What makes Jessica smile? Here are a few of her favrite things.
Best GIFT: My diamond bracelet that Nick got me for Christmas. It's beautiful.
Best BOOK: Message in a Bottle, by Nicholas Sparks. I like those romantic books.
Best MEAL: Chicken-fried steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, and corn bread. Southern food is my favorite.
Best PLACE I've ever been to: Rome, Italy
Best piece of CLOTHING: Red snakeskin boots. They're so cool.
Best MOVIE: I'm a big fan of Julia Roberts. I love Pretty Woman.
Best WEB site: My own ( 'cause I love reading the message boards.

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