Jessica Simpson’s much-publicized foray into country music is coming together. The singer’s manager/father, Joe, tells EW.com that the singer is close to completing her first country album and that she is eyeing a possible unscripted CMT show, which would mark the singer’s second stab at reality TV. “With Newlyweds, she let everyone into her world,” says Joe. “Then she had to shut the world out. Now she can open it up again so people can see, here’s a girl struggling with self-esteem and finding her way. Country music is about storytelling, after all.”
As for the album, Simpson has enlisted some of Nashville’s most respected names to lend a hand — and some credibility — to the project. Jessica duets with Dolly Parton on one track and is joined on another by Willie Nelson and Charley Pride. John Shanks, who’s worked with Sheryl Crow and Kelly Clarkson, and Brett James, a cowriter on Carrie Underwood’s single “Jesus Take the Wheel,” are producing. Simpson’s first single, which has yet to be selected, could be out as soon as April or May.