Jessica Simpson surprised fans when she took the stage with a country music legend this week after a lengthy hiatus from singing. Simpson joined longtime pal Willie Nelson onstage at the Orange County Fair to perform the song “I Will Be Your Fool.” The surprising duet marked the first time Simpson has performed onstage in years and the first time her husband and kids have ever seen her sing in concert.
People reports that Nelson invited Simpson onstage during his show, telling the crowd, “My good buddy Jessica Simpson and I are gonna sing a song together.”
The 38-year-old mom of two, known for her late 1990s/early 2000s pop hits “I Wanna Love You Forever” and “With You,” looked the part in a black and white dotted mini dress and embellished knee-high cowboy boots as she hugged the 85-year-old country music icon and joined in on the song.
Simpson later posted a photo from her performance with Nelson to Instagram, telling fans, “It’s not every night that a legend invites you to join him on his stage. And my husband and kids got to see me perform for the first time! ”
Jessica Simpson also posted a photo of herself hamming it up backstage with husband Eric Johnson and their kids Maxwell, 6, and Ace, 5. The singer captioned the black and white photo, “Backstage shenanigans.”
Jessica Simpson hasn’t performed onstage or recorded new music in eight years. Her last album, Happy Christmas, was released in 2010. For the past several years, Simpson has focused on other business ventures, including her highly successful fashion line and her newly released beauty and makeup line, Beauty Fiend.
Simpson married Johnson in 2014, and the following year she began teasing work on a new album, but she has yet to release it. Still, last month Simpson told Entertainment Tonight both she and her sister Ashlee have plans to return to the music world.
“We’ve done a lot of behind-the-scenes-type work, because we’ve become mothers, but now we’re going back to the stage, for both of us. The stage is my home, so I look forward to being on it,” Simpson told ET last month.
After her pop-up performance with Willie Nelson, it looks like Jessica Simpson is making good on her promise to fans.
You can see Jessica Simpson’s performance with Willie Nelson at the Orange County Fair below.