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A family affair

Simpson parents hands-on in daughters' music careers


(CNN) -- Joe and Tina Simpson are managers and counselors for two of the nation's most popular music artists -- who just happen to be their two daughters, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson.

This vocation marks a major career and personal turn for the Simpson couple, who certainly have come a long way since leaving Texas.

Once a practicing Baptist minister, Joe Simpson now makes his living as a music manager based in Los Angeles, California. His first crack at management was with his oldest daughter, Jessica, whose career took off when MTV cameras followed her and husband Nick Lachey on the hit reality show "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica."

When Ashlee entered the music scene, Joe Simpson took charge of her career as well. Both young women have found commercial success.

By taking such a hands-on role, Joe Simpson has had to balance fatherhood and his manager responsibilities.

"My dad takes care of me as a manager and as a dad," Jessica told The Dallas Morning News in July of 2000. "That's his job, you know, to take care of me. He has my best interests at heart."

"If I'm tired, he'll respect that. He knows I'm only human. A lot of managers don't know that. You know, they think you're a machine that can just keep going and going."

But it's not all in the family. Joe Simpson also serves as manager for young recording artist Ryan Cabrera, who has been romantically linked to younger daughter Ashlee.

Joe Simpson took his own career in music a step further when he announced a joint venture in September of 2004 with Geffen Records. The company has Ashlee under contract, and also includes JT Records, a label named for him and his wife, Tina.

A mom's love

Tina Simpson does her part as well. As a supporter of her husband and daughters, she does everything from cleaning up after them to overseeing their wardrobe.

She recognized early in Jessica's career that family support was a key ingredient for success.

"Her whole family is out on the road with her," Tina Simpson told CNN in December 1999. "My husband is managing her, I do wardrobe ... It's cool, because we're all there and create some stability."

She added that Ashlee, age 15 at the time, danced on-stage during her sister's live shows and aspired to be an actress.

But Ashlee proved she could do more than dance when her first album, "Autobiography," debuted at No. 1 on the music charts.

"It is overwhelming. I am so proud of her and we are all so blessed. She is making her own shadows now. It took a lot for Ashlee to make this record and step outside of expectations," Tina Simpson said on July 28, 2004, according to PR Newswire.

Even with a successful career of her own, Ashlee said she remains close to her mother.

"My mom is incredible. I always listen to her," Ashlee told The New York Times in August 2004. "We're best friends, and at the same time we'll butt heads every now and then because we have the exact same personality."

TV stars

On top of the music business, the Simpsons have also made their mark on the reality TV map.

Their lives played out on camera for MTV when the reality show "Newlyweds" hit the airwaves in 2003. Tina, Ashlee and Joe -- the show's producer -- made occasional appearances as the newly married Jessica Simpson and Lachey, a former member of the boy band 98 Degrees and now a solo artist, gave viewers a glimpse of their personal lives.

Jessica discussed the impact of the show's success on CNN's "Larry King Live" in October 2003.

"We're so happy we did it," she said. "The response is amazing. ... We have widened our demographic of ... ages, and it's just -- it's been huge for us. I mean, who knew?"

The show's success led to yet another Simpson family reality spot on MTV, when Joe took a crack at executive producing "The Ashlee Simpson Show."

The program, which debuted in 2004 and is now in its second season, chronicles the youngest Simpson's career.


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