Ashlee Simpson says infamous ‘SNL’ performance taught her how to say no

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In October 2004, Ashlee Simpson‘s music career was derailed after she was caught lip-syncing on an episode of Saturday Night Live. Looking back on the incident during a podcast interview, she says she should have stuck to her guns and refused to perform that night.

While appearing on Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson and Olivia Allen, Ashlee reveals that the day of the performance, she woke up unable to speak because of nodules on her vocal cords. She wrote a note to the SNL folks — because she couldn’t talk — explaining the situation and insisting, “I will not go on. I don’t care.”

But, she claims, she was told to perform to prerecorded vocals. She warned SNL, “My band has never practiced this, this is not going to go well. I can’t do this.” But she did it anyway. Sure enough, when she started her second song, the vocal track from “Pieces of Me” started playing by accident, exposing her lip-syncing. Ashlee did a goofy dance and then walked offstage.

During the goodbyes, she attempted to explain herself, saying her band started playing the wrong song and that she was sorry.

On the podcast, Ashlee says she’s since learned “the power of my no” and added, “The power of me saying ‘absolutely not’ … that’s what I would go back and say.”

“It was a humbling moment for me, I had the #1 song … it was, like, everything was about to go somewhere and then it was like, ‘Woah,’ the humility of not even [understanding] what grown-a** people would say about you … awful, awful things,” Ashlee continues. “It was so hard to tune that out, to find my strength, to get up and go again.”

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