Jessica And Nick Plan Duets Album, Say No To Sonny And Cher

Husband-and-wife team hope to record romantic LP that will include some covers of '70s, '80s hits.

LOS ANGELES — On the golf course, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson are not the most effective twosome. In the kitchen, the newlyweds are even worse. In the studio, though, they are convinced everything clicks.

Nick and Jessica, who sang together on “Where You Are” from Simpson’s 1999 album, Sweet Kisses, are planning to record a duets album sometime in 2004.

“We’re talking about remaking great ’70s, ’80s hits,” Simpson said at KIIS-FM’s recent Jingle Ball. “Definitely a romantic album.”

In November, Jessica said she and Nick had some reservations about the idea of recording together again.

“We wouldn’t want it to be cheesy,” she said at the time. “So we’d have to spend a while and pick the right material. We’re not going to do ‘I Got You Babe,’ because that’s what people’s ‘clever ideas’ are. ‘Oh, you should do Sonny and Cher.’ We’re just like, ‘No, if we’re going to do something together, it has to be clever.’ We want to remake some stuff and also do original stuff.”

The duets album is just one of several projects Simpson hopes to launch in the new year. Another major one is her sitcom with ABC (see “Jessica Simpson Dreams Of Jeannie Role, But Sitcom Comes First” ).

“It’s in the beginning of the development process,” Jessica said at Jingle Ball. “We’ve been interviewing writers. We’re spending a lot of time making it perfect so everybody is going to laugh their butts off.”

Simpson said her husband will make cameos, but the show will focus on her.

“I definitely wanna play into who I am on the ‘Newlyweds,’ not as a wife, but just who I am up here,” she said, pointing to her head. “I think it’ll be funny. I think it’ll be endearing to people. Something very Goldie Hawn-esque.”

Jessica also plans to make at least one movie in 2004 and will continue promoting her third album, In This Skin. She has yet to pick a third single, but she’s hoping “With You” will continue growing in popularity like it has in L.A., where it’s been a hit on KIIS.

“I’m so proud of my second single because this is the first song that I’ve written that’s on the radio,” Simpson said. “It’s cool for me just because it’s my personality … Nick loves me with nothing but a T-shirt on so that’s where the song idea came from.”

Jessica feels the same way about the song as she does about that other little hit on her hands, “Newlyweds.”

“The best part of this year was that I had success just being myself, and I think that is the best kind of success,” she said. “I didn’t have to try to be someone I wasn’t, try to have an image, try to do the whole teen pop thing I was always trying to fit into. The show just showed my personality and let me fit in where I am supposed to, and that’s just middle America.”

While “Newlyweds” cameras have been following Nick and Jessica for a second season, she insisted life has gone on as normal.

“Nick and I sat down in the very beginning and wanted it to be reality,” she explained. “We have never seen any reality show. Believe it or not, I don’t know what ‘The Bachelor’ or any of that [is about]. I’ve never watched anything. We had watched a little of ‘The Osbournes,’ but I think it made us walk into it with a really fresh vibe. We just sat down and wanted to not have any kind of guard, no facade, be who we were. And it paid off.”

—Corey Moss, with additional reporting by SuChin Pak