Ashlee Simpson Singes Live

Pop singer takes the stage in Vegas after lip-syncing incident

Saturday Night Live

Simpson's father and manager Joe Simpson stated yesterday that the pop singer had lip synced during her appearance on SNL because acid reflux disease had made her vocal cords swell up, leaving her voice hoarse. "Just like any artist in America, she has a backing track that she pushes so you don't have to hear her croak through a song on national television," Joe Simpson told Los Angeles' KIIS-FM. Ashlee Simpson walked offstage during the broadcast when recorded vocals for a different song started playing as she began performing, and NBC quickly cut to a commercial.

At the close of the show, guest host Jude Law stood beside Simpson and said, "What can I say? Live TV." The singer, trying to explain the misstep, sweetly said, "My band started playing the wrong song." Monday on her Web site, Simpson blamed her hectic schedule: "I can't cancel something like SNL," she wrote. "You and I know that even if I synced on it or not, I'd still get seen by millions, maybe even make a few more fans...I don't think it did me much harm."

In an interview with Katie Couric this morning on the Today show, Simpson explained that she had been fully prepared to sing live on Saturday. "I was so ready to go," she said. "Saturday night came at six o'clock. I have severe acid reflux. It started acting up and I could not speak or talk . . . My voice was not strong enough to hold up the song alone." Simpson claimed her doctor had insisted that she could not sing on her own, saying it would "ruin your vocal chords." Simpson also revealed that she has avoided reading postings in her Web site. "I get comments like now [I'm] Milli Vanilli. I write all of my own music and perform it from the heart . . . I hope my fans know, especially the ones that come out to my shows, they know it's live."

Above all, Simpson did her utmost to deflate the episode: "I am not anorexic. My boob didn't pop out. I am not on drugs. I had a bad performance and I got sick . . . You can't help it if you lose your voice."