Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Joe Simpson wants to add pop to Spears' career



Just as Britney Spears' dad is criticizing her, word has leaked that the falling star may soon have a new father figure in her life: Jessica Simpson's dad. According to an inside source, Joe Simpson is considering managing Spears' career, or what's left of it, just as he has done for Jessica and her sister, Ashlee.

The former Baptist minister even tried to set up a meeting over the weekend with Spears, our source attests - though Jessica's rep Cindi Berger denies it. While some might fear a diva-like rivalry between the two singers, our source says Jessica would be okay with the arrangement and even offered to put out a call to Britney, as the two are no longer competitors. Spears has made more than $100 million from records and endorsements, while sales of Simpson's five albums were lukewarm. But Joe Simpson adeptly steered his daughter into movies and lucrative appearances, like next week's performance with the Pussycat Dolls at Pure in Las Vegas. And Ashlee had two No. 1 singles on the Billboard charts.

The Simpson girls are clearly appreciative of their dad's efforts: Last month, Ashlee called Joe "a wonderful man" in Harper's Bazaar, and Jessica gave him a Ferrari.

Insiders even credit Joe's guidance for helping the sisters avoid the excesses that sent Spears to rehab at the urging of her family, doctors and manager, Larry Rudolph. Spears, attributing her behavior to postpartum depression, left rehab and fired Rudolph, for which her estranged father, Jamie, blasted her last week. The job remains open. Spears' spokeswoman wouldn't comment.

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