Yoko Romo Goes Country

Because it's never too early in the year for Jessica Simpson "news": Last week, Direct to Video told Billboard that her next CD will be country-fried, citing as her inspirations and influences Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Reba McEntire. And, joy of all joys, she'll be writing some of the songs all by her lonesome:

"Writing is a release for me," she says. "It's a way for me to tell my story. That's not to say I wouldn't record a song that I didn't write. It's just that it has been a while since I have opened the book."

Though I think she meant to say, "It's just that it has been a while since I have opened a book." --Robert Wilonsky

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