"I'm planning on making country for the rest of my life." Says the onetime pop sensation

By Shari Weiss
Updated June 10, 2008 05:35 PM

Jessica Simpson has gone country – and plans to stay there, the singer tells The Tennessean.

“I’m planning on making country [music] for the rest of my life, and I don’t want to go back to that other world,” says Simpson, 27. Her latest foray into the country scene has given Simpson a boost in success – and confidence.

After the breakup of Simpson’s marriage to Nick Lachey – and a very public flub of Dolly Parton’s “Nine to Five” at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006 – Simpson says she was scared to sing onstage.

“I was going through a heartbreak, and I was scattered and shouldn’t have been on that stage,” she tells the newspaper. “There’s no way to convince anybody that you’re comfortable onstage if you’re not.” But after stepping into the studio to record a country song, she declared: “I’m back!”

Simpson spent the last few days in Nashville attending the CMA Music Festival, where she promoted her new single, “Come On Over.”

Simpson says she’s gotten begrudging compliments on the song and has high expectations for her album, due to be released this September. “A lot of people have listened to ‘Come On Over’ and told me, ‘I really wanted to hate it, but I like it,'” she said. ”[It’s] a backhanded compliment, but I’m glad it’s that way and not the other way around,”

Adds the singer: “I take a lot of pride in my talent and in the record I was able to put together. I’m not giving up.”