It was the lip-sync blunder seen ’round the world. And it had a lasting effect on Ashlee Simpson-Ross.
Back in 2004, the 33-year-old singer became the first (and still, only) musician to walk out of a Saturday Night Live performance when vocals of her hit single “Pieces of Me” played before she had even raised the microphone to her mouth.
Simpson-Ross — who had already performed “Pieces of Me” on SNL earlier in the night and was supposed to be singing her second single, “Autobiography,” instead — quickly looked around confused before dancing a jig to cover and sneaking off the stage. Her band continued playing as the show cut to commercial. She later appeared before the credits rolled, explaining, “I feel so bad. My band started playing the wrong song. I didn’t know what to do so I thought I’d do a hoedown.”
Though it all seemed like an innocent mistake, a backlash soon ensued, with fans criticizing Simpson-Ross for using pre-recorded vocals for a live performance. She then revealed that she had completely lost her voice due to an acid reflux flare-up, which only led to more teasing from online trolls.
That was well over a decade, of course. But while Simpson has licked her wounds, and even redeemed herself with a live performance on SNL in 2005, the pain still lingers.
“All of sudden, you know, s— happened and it was like boom. And the world hated me for this SNL moment I had,” Simpson-Ross confesses in a clip from her upcoming E! reality show, ASHLEE+EVAN. “For me, it was the most humbling experience of my life, because the whole world thinks everything that you just put your heart and soul into writing is a joke. And that sucked.”
It didn’t stop Simpson-Ross from making music. The star, who married Evan Ross in 2014, continued recording, releasing two more albums. But the stink of SNL had a lasting effect on her career.
“For me I went back in, I made a second record, it was number one,” Ashlee concludes. “And I made a third record and I toured all the amphitheaters… and I don’t even think the world knows that I got to that place, ” she says.
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Now, Simpson-Ross is ready for her next act. ASHLEE+EVAN follows her and Ross as they record their new duets album and navigate their life at home with son Bronx Mowgli Wentz, 9½ (whom Simpson-Ross shares with ex Pete Wentz) and daughter Jagger Snow, 3.
“I definitely have enjoyed the longest break ever from cameras and everything,” Simpson-Ross previously told PEOPLE. “But I think this was a decision Evan and I came with. People haven’t seen me in 10 years and I do want people to have a closer look into our lives and be able to understand where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where we’re going.”
ASHLEE+EVAN premieres Sunday (at 10 p.m.) on E!