Ashlee Simpson's 'Autobiography' album returns to top of U.S. sales charts, selling 285,000 copies
By Wade Paulsen, 08/16/2004
Once again, Ashlee Simpson stands alone in a place her sister has never been: atop the U.S. album charts.
Ashlee, the star of MTV's The Ashlee Simpson Show, returned to the #1 slot on the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Album Sales chart (also known as the Billboard 200) with her debut Geffin CD Autobiography for the week ended August 8, after a one-week dip to the second spot. In its third week of release, Autobiography sold 285,000 copies, giving it total sales of over 955,000 copies. Last week's #1, Now That's What I Call Music! #16, a compilation of hits from the spring and summer, sold about 10,000 units less than Ashlee and dropped to second.
The 16,000 increase in units sold for Autobiography coincided with both the finale of Ashlee's MTV reality series and Ashlee's victories at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards ("Fresh Face" and "Song of the Summer" for 'Pieces of Me'). In the wake of her success, Ashlee told MTV that she was "pretty sure" that she would make a second season of The Ashlee Simpson Show. However, at about the same time, she told Blender that she had no intention of returning, saying "I think a second series would drive me crazy."
Whom to believe? As Woodward and Bernstein learned during Watergate, the secret is to "follow the money." In this case, we expect that MTV will come up with enough dollars to bring Ashlee back, even if (in her words) a reality series is neither "natural" nor "healthy."
Ashlee has also been spending some time in the recording studio with her older sister Jessica Simpson, star of MTV's Newlyweds. According to MTV, Ashlee and Jessica have collaborated on a remake of 'The Little Drummer Boy' for Jessica's upcoming Christmas record.
Why, of all possible Christmas songs, Jessica and Ashlee picked one of the most vapid of all to record is a mystery to us. We note that, since the original version by co-composer Harry Simeone was released in 1958, the song has been covered by a few illustrious male singers, such as Bob Seger, Johnny Cash and Lou Rawls ... but the classic version may be the seemingly-bizarre pairing of David Bowie and Bing Crosby, who performed it as part of a clever medley with 'Peace On Earth'. Whether the Simpson sisters have a chance of matching them is as obvious as whether "Chicken of the Sea" is really chicken or tuna.