Ashlee Simpson recently reflected on her infamous performance on 'Saturday Night Live' in 2004.

Ashlee Simpson Finally Revealed Why She Lip-Synced On SNL In 2004

There was more going on than anyone realized.

Saturday Night Live has had an impressive roster of musical guests over the years. There’s no telling what an artist might deliver onstage — they can make a bold statement, be effortlessly iconic and dramatic, or fumble under pressure. The latter has always defined Ashlee Simpson’s 2004 performance, where she was caught lip-syncing. This moment quickly became a scandal and seemingly left an unfair mark on her career. Now, two decades later, she’s sharing some hidden details about the incident.

On Feb. 19, Simpson appeared on the Broad Ideas With Rachel Bilson & Olivia Allen podcast. There, she revealed she suddenly lost her voice the day of her SNL gig. “I had done my rehearsal the night before and then I woke up the next day and I couldn’t speak,” Simpson said. “I saw the voice doctor that day and I had two nodules beating against each other.”

Her vocal injury was a tough gamble. Not only was it disrupting her voice, but it was threatening the opportunity for her to make her musical debut on the show while at the height of her career. Simpson understood that reality, and she tried to share those thoughts with her team. “That day I said, ‘I will not go on, I don’t care. I can’t speak.’ Meanwhile, I’m not saying this. I’m writing it down because I can’t talk,” she said.

Despite her concerns, her label encouraged her to sing with pre-recorded vocals. She noted that she felt this method “wasn’t going to go well,” but nonetheless, the show went on. Simpson first performed “Pieces of Me” with no issues; however, the lip-sync fail came during her performance of “Autobiography.” The vocals came in too early, and Simpson tried to distract from the mistake by dancing before walking off the stage.

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At the end of the episode, she blamed the mistake on her band “playing the wrong song.” However, Simpson faced most of the scrutiny, and her career never truly recovered from it. That reality was always unfortunate, since she later released some bops that deserved a larger push — ahem, “Boyfriend” and “Outta My Head.”

Later in the podcast, she revealed the incident taught her about “the power of my no.” “It was a humbling moment for me. I think I had the No. 1 song, and everything was about to go somewhere, and then it was just like, ‘Whoa.’ The humility of not even understanding what grown a*s people would say about you. Like, grown men — just awful, awful things,” she said, adding it took her a while to “find her strength again.”

Simpson ultimately did regain that courage, and later returned to the SNL stage in 2005. “That was f*cking scary to do, but having that show at that time was nice because all the people that were my fans stuck with me.”

Simpson, you and that underrated discography will always be famous.