SNL performances that destroyed careers
We haven’t heard too much from Ashlee Simpson in recent years, but back in 2004 she was still relevant on the pop music scene, what with her reality show and notable fashion sense. But it all came crashing down when she was caught blatantly lip-synching on Saturday Night Live.
When Simpson got up to perform her second song of the evening, “Autobiography,” pre-recorded vocals for another song, “Pieces of Me,” started playing while she had the mic held away from her face, visibly not singing. Whoops! Simpson’s knee jerk reaction was to do a weird little jig and then run off stage as her band awkwardly played on.
Cut to commercial and cue major backlash, including from Saturday Night Live show creator Lorne Michaels himself. Simpson later called in to MTV’s Total Request Live to explain that she’d been suffering from severe acid reflux and her manager/father had insisted that she use a backing track to help her out. She told the show, “It’s so embarrassing… because it sucks. The total situation was a bummer. I made a complete fool of myself.”
Audiences and music lovers agreed, and Simpson’s career took a major dip in the aftermath. As Entertainment Tonight detailed in 2014, although her personal life underwent a number of developments (including two marriages), there’s been little movement in terms of music-making. According to Idolator, Simpson saw poor album sales and only one of her songs eeked its way on to the charts after the whole debacle.