Last year, Ashlee Simpson's future as an entertainer was uncertain. After her lip-syncing debacle on Saturday Night Live '- and the resulting bad press '- it looked like the pop tart's bubble had burst.
But things have turned around for Jessica Simpson's little sister. This year she bought her first house, put out her first feature film, has a new hit album and recently vindicated herself by returning to SNL and singing her heart out '- live.
We recently caught up with Ashlee, who turned 21 in October, and hit her up with 21 questions. Here goes...
1. Was turning 21 everything you expected? I still can't believe I'm 21. I had my birthday party in Vegas. It was great. I actually got to perform there '- I was onstage with the Pussycat Dolls.
2. Did you gamble? I did, but I didn't really like it. And I even won! Maybe it's because I didn't really know what I was doing [laughs]. I was like: I'd rather spend this money on Louis Vuitton luggage.
3. Is it true you used Jessica's ID before you turned 21? I did. Not much recently, but when I was 17 or 18 I'd try to use it. Sometimes people would say, "You're not Jessica Simpson." I'd answer: "Yeah I am." I think people were just being nice when they let me get away with it. And sometimes I didn't get away with it.
4. I find that hard to believe. Who turns away a celebrity? There were a bunch of places that wouldn't let me in, and of course Vegas. You can't go anywhere in Vegas until you're 21. I couldn't even perform there before I turned 21. That's why it was fun to have my party there. It was like: Ha!
5. What did you get for your birthday? I heard Jessica got you a crazy-expensive watch. She got me an amazing watch. It's a Rolex from Chrome Hearts with diamonds and the whole nine yards. I actually got a lot of things from Chrome Hearts. And I bought myself a birthday present there, too.
6. What about your parents? It hasn't come yet, but they ordered a vintage Pacman machine. And they're getting me all my dishes and other things for my house.
7. Tell me about your house. Did you look at a lot of places? I thought I wanted a Spanish style house, but I saw this one '- it was the second one I looked at '- and I was like: Oh, my God. It has everything I could ever want in one house. My closet was one of the selling points '- it's 1,300 square feet. And I have a pool, hot tub and a pretty view.
8. Having a lot of parties? Not yet. My furniture is being custom made, so it hasn't come yet. The only room that's furnished is the guest room. Whenever I have people over, we have paper plate dinners because I don't even have plates yet. But it's fun.
9. Your return to SNL went off without a hitch. Feel vindicated? It felt great! My [facial] reaction was so funny when I finished. I think I was more proud of myself than anybody else was. It's funny though '- right after the show everything came out: I got a bad cold and a big zit. Luckily, it waited until after the show.
10. Why do you think the earlier SNL debacle was such a big deal? I don't know. It was a moment that wasn't fun to go through '- at all '- but it only made me stronger. And to be able to go back and face my demons was cool.
11. Two of the songs on I Am Me are about your SNL experience. Will you tell us about them? "Beautifully Broken" is one. It's about that day when you don't want to get out of bed. You have to find the beauty in that moment, find your inner strength. "Catch Me When I Fall," which I performed on SNL, is about the weak feeling that I felt after it happened.
12. I have to ask: Is "Boyfriend" about Wilmer Valderrama? [She giggles, then takes a long pause.] That song is a song that every girl can relate to. I think we've probably all been in that situation where someone said: "You stole my boyfriend" and you're like, "No, I didn't."
13. You totally dodged that question. Can you at least say if you're dating anyone? I'm not dating anyone. I'm single. Being single is fun. I have such good friends '- girlfriends, guy friends. I'm having a good time.
14. I've been dying to know why Wilmer's face was bruised at your party. I'm not completely sure but I think that he was joking around fighting with a wrestler and got hurt. At least I think that's what happened. I felt bad. It was so sweet for him to come anyway. He's a great friend to our family.
15. You recently had your first big movie role in Undiscovered. Is acting something you'll continue pursuing? Absolutely. It was so much fun to make that movie. I worked with a cool cast and learned a lot. For now, I'd like to take on roles where I get to grow as an actress. One day I'll take on that big role. Right now, I'm at a place where I just want to learn. My dream is to be on Broadway.
16. Do you read stories in the press about your family? They're probably unavoidable. I don't read anything negative. If it's sweet and positive, I'll read it. Jess and I both do that. If it's a good review or a nice story, we'll read it. But if somebody just wants to be mean for no reason, then we choose to ignore it.
17. What do you think about the press picking over your sister's personal life? I just feel bad for her. She has her own personal life and people need to leave her alone.
18. Would you guys ever collaborate on a song or album? I don't think we'd ever do an album, but it would be fun to do a song. I don't think we'll be doing that anytime soon though. I've got my own thing and so does she. But we're so supportive of each other. It's nice '- every time I have big shows, she's always there. She's such a good big sister. She's so sweet.
19. You're going to be on the cover of Blender in December. I read that you actually bumped Madonna, who was supposed to be on it. That's big news. Uh, uh [stammering]... I heard something about that, but I was like: I'm sure Madonna can have any cover that she wants.
20. Now you have some time off. What are your plans? I literally don't want to get out of my sweatpants or leave my house. Everybody's like: You're 21 '- go out and party. I'm like: No way. I want to do absolutely nothing.
21. Does that mean you haven't started on album number three? I haven't, but I was talking about it the other day. My mother was like, "You're crazy." I was like, "I know." I can't help it '- I get bored. I'm not the kind of person who can just sit around.