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Edited by Jonathan Cohen / January 19, 2001, 3:50 p.m. ET
Billboard Bits: Jessica Simpson Â
Jessica Simpson is wrapping up her sophomore effort for Columbia Records, tentatively slated for a March 20 release. The album will feature production work by Rodney Jerkins and balladmeister Walter Afanasieff. Simpson describes some of the material as 'Mariah Carey meets Britney Spears ... very mature but accessible to teens.'
Simpson is unabashedly partial to the two tunes written for the set by her boyfriend, 98 Degrees' Nick Lachey. 'They're so incredibly beautiful,' she says, beaming with pride. 'They just take your breath away.' The set is the follow-up to her Columbia debut, which peaked at No. 25 on The Billboard 200 last August and has sold nearly 1.6 million copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan.
-- Melinda Newman, L.A.
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