When it comes to the merging of two famous families, Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross might have just accomplished one of the most major mergers in showbiz. When the twosome married in 2014, they combined the Simpson-Ross families, making all sorts of entertainment industry stars and insiders related in one way or another. Yes, it now means that Diana Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross (who dishes on the couple, below), Jessica Simpson, and manager Joe Simpson are all family. We wish there was a show about this... (Actually, we'll get to that later...)
But the couple told The Daily Dish this week, ahead of the premiere of their new E! show, Ashlee and Evan, that it's not all sing-alongs at family gatherings — even if the couple does enjoy performing a duet and is just days away from the release of their joint single, "I Do," this Friday.
"We're super normal; there's no talent shows," Evan shared. "Everybody's just so fun. I think it's interesting, 'cause there is a lot of talented [people] musically and artist-wise in our family [but] you don't feel that when you're with them."
The entire crew out and about.
Presenting Diana Ross! (And Ashlee and Pete...)
Instead, though, it's the next generation that's turning up the diva dial, including their daughter, Jagger: "She's become a little superstar; she can perform and everything," Evan shared, noting that she shares Diana's fondness for costumes like tutus and gowns.
Ashlee and Evan with their daughter, Jagger, and Ashlee's son, Bronx.
That A-list status extends to outside of their own immediate gene pool, as Ashlee's ex is Fall Out Boy rocker, Pete Wentz, with whom she has a son, Bronx. Turns out, the whole clan, exes, and current spouses included, all love each other. "Bronx is such an amazing kid and I think we just all really bonded very well," Evan said. "And I feel like us and Pete have such a great relationship too that it all just worked out. And I know that it doesn't always happen — it's one of those things where you hope it does, but it did and I think it's consistently stayed that way."
As for Ashlee, meeting Evan definitely completed things for her in her life. "I feel like getting married to Evan was just amazing. It was a moment in life," she said. "I was so thankful I really had found my soul mate. I was a single mom [and] sometimes you're like, 'I don't know where my life is gonna take me.' So the day he walked into my life was a very special one."
Ashlee and ex, Pete, before they split in 2011, with son, Bronx.
Now, viewers are used to seeing the Simpsons on TV: both Ashlee and big sister, Jessica, had MTV reality shows and their dad, Joe, previously appeared on Vanderpump Rules. But the Ross clan, despite their deep ties to the entertainment industry, is definitely new to this format.
"None of them had done it before. We did something different though. I feel like we did something that feels a lot more docuseries and that was a clear decision," Evan said. "We protected everybody and it was fun and it was very authentic. It wasn't like we were manufacturing things. So everybody felt very confident. We had to show them what we were up to first."
And while we will get to meet many of Evan's family (although he notes "you didn't even see everybody. There's more. We got a big family. They live in Norway, London,"), he's hoping the show will show people a bigger picture of who they are — including his late dad, businessman and mountaineer Arne Næss Jr., who died in 2004 in a mountain climbing accident.
Evan, as a kid, with his mom and dad.
"I don't really think anybody's really gotten to know us. I don't think people really know very much about our family [on the Ross side] other than what people have seen. It was nice for me to share [about] my father just because I feel it keeps him alive in a lot of sense. I feel like people talk about my family and they don't know much about him and he did amazing things. That was a nice thing for me to be able to share."
There is something that we're hoping we do get to see more of, which is mentioned in the series: footage of Papa Joe hanging in the club. "I bumped into Papa Joe at my club [Warwick] and if I show up there, he's usually there popping bottles. I'm like, 'Papa Joe, good for him.' They all know him now. He's good. He's a solidified Warwick member; they love him."
"He loves to go out ... hey, live your best life ... he's just out having fun, listening to music," Ashlee added about her dad's love for letting loose.
Evan, Ashlee and Papa Joe, chatting.
In addition to many a family member popping up on the series, Jessica, will also make a cameo later this season. "It was brief. She came to a performance of ours. I feel like she's been to all of my performances. She's definitely there for that," Ashlee said, noting, "Jessica's been doing great. She's been doing music and fashion stuff and being a mom."
Ashlee and Jessica, hanging with their family.
Check out more of Papa Joe on Vanderpump Rules because you know you want to.