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From YM's March 2000 issue

Does the world need another pretty pop singer? If it's Jessica Simpson your talking about, the answer is definitely yes. Her album, Sweet Kisses, shows off her vocal range on romantic songs, including her number one single, "I Wanna Love You Forever." The song is nothing if not heartfelt, and that may be because Jessica made her performing debut bekting out gospel tunes in her hometown church. Success is hardly the only sweet thing in this girl's life, though-her main squeeze is none other than hottie Nick Lachey from 98 degrees. Here, Jessica spills about her unconventional birthday present from Nick, dealing with disappointment, and the reason she's not afraid to stand up for her beliefs.

Carson Daly: Before everything started to happen for you, how impatient were you to have your single heard and your video air on TRL?
Jessica Simpson: Very! When I was 12 and didn't get the job I auditioned for on The Mickey Mouse Club, that was a big, big let down for me. Then I worked on a gospel record for two years in my early teens, only to have the record company fold right when my album was supposed to come out. So I've spent a lot of time not believing it was going to happen for me. But now I'm glad that's how it went, because I wasn't ready for it then.

CD: You've been on tour with 98 degrees and with Ricky Martin. How do you think the two compare?
JS: The 98 degrees tour opened a ton of doors for me-I was on tour with them when I didn't have anything else. And the Ricky tour was incredible exposure-I was performing for 25,000 people every night. But on the Ricky tour, being away from Nick kinda sucked.

CD: What's this story about the pet pig he gave you?
JS: I'm obsessed with pigs. Ever since I was really little, my room was decorated with pigs. I don't know why; I'm just a wierdo. So for my birthday Nick adopted a pig from some sanctuary. We were expecting the cutest little pink pig, but when they sent us a picture of it, we saw that it was a huge hog the size of a bathtub! We're still laughing about that.

CD: What do you guys like to do together?
JS: Anytime we get a chance to hang out and order room service and watch a football game-he's gotten me into it-it's nice. Because when we go out, everybody recognizes him, and it turns into a disaster.

CD: Why do you write diary entries to your fans on your website?
JS: Every night I light candles and write in my journal. It's my escape from all the craziness I deal with during the day. And I want to let my fans know what's going on with me and have them feel like they're my friends.

CD: Your certainly honest, and it comes through. Are you ever worried about being too honest?
JS: Never. I'm not afraid to stand up for what I believe in, because I know it's gotten me where I am today. So my faith is something that I would never hide.

CD: Yeah, me neither. But here we are in the world of entertainment. How much of a challenge is it for you to practice what you believe?
JS: It's actually not a challenge at all, because I've always been someone who wants to stand apart. Even in high school, I was never part of the "in" crowd who went out and partied. My dad's a therapist and a minister, and I've sat in on some of his sessions and watched teens go through a lot of crap. I swore to myself that I would never take part in anything that would bring me to that point.

CD: What discourages you about teens today?
JS: That they don't know themselves well enough to make important decisions. And they don't face their problems-they just keep pushing them off until they really get into trouble.

CD: Do you try to incorporate any of these themes into your music?
JS: Absolutely. I always say that God is the core of my music. My faith makes me happy and fulfills my life.

CD: But do you struggle with any temptations?
JS: I've never been one to go to parties. I'm kinda boring. I'm not saying that I'm never tempted by anything, because of course I am. I'm only human.

CD: When you're just chilling, what music do you like to listen to?
JS: I love guy's voices. Dave Matthews is one of my favorites. I could listen to him for hours on end.

CD: If you could sing with any one female artist, who would she be?
JS: Celine Dion, for sure. She's the kind of artist whose voice really takes you somewhere. And that's truly the most beautiful thing about music-it takes you on a journey away from the craziness of this world.

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