When you first saw that Jessie James was opening for the Jonas Brothers, were you also like "WHY must I endure a motorcycle demo by the stony, tattooed Mr. Sandra Bullock while waiting to see the Jonas Brothers?" Was anyone else surprised to discover that this Jessie James is a five-foot, X-tina-gone-country knock-out. (And, yes, this 21-year-old singer is a JessIE, unlike the Celebrity Apprentice contestant or the Wild West bank robber.)
But how did this self-proclaimed Army brat from Georgia score an opening gig on the Jonas Brother's summer tour? Here are five good reasons Jessie James should be on -- and stay on -- your radar.
1. The Girl Actually Writes Her Own Music And Actually Hustles
Jessie gets respect not just for co-writing tracks on her debut album (which comes out July 28), which includes the Carrie-Underwood-would-cut-a-b+tch-for-this number "Wanted," co-written by Kara DioGuardi (the OTHER Idol judge!). But Jessie's also been hard at work on a radio station tour... albeit a kinda D-list one, but that's how you make it, girl...
Jessie is an immediately competent singer (even in a T-shirt and Uggs), and as a career woman she's hungry; look for another single, "Bullet," co-written by one Katy Perry, on Jessie's horizon ... Wait, did Kelly Clarkson just call?
2. She's Hybrid Country
I need a chaser with my country music, and Jessie's sultry, Aguilera-esque belt goes beyond Reba and into dance and hip-hop territory, a hybrid Jessie lovingly dubs "hick-hop" (not kidding). Listen to "Blue Jeans" -- it was in Confessions of a Shopaholic, if it sounds familiar -- for some surprising funk... and fun zipper sound effects.
3. She's Got an Edge, And a Healthy Ego
She may not tune up motorcycles like Mr. Bullock, but Jessie has an intense Megan Fox moment in her "Wanted" music video. Someone turn the hose on her! Jessie also posed for a bomb spread in Maxim and admits she cleans her house "nekkid." Always on time for Sunday church, though!
Jessie will also be the first to tell you how talented she is -- and that "when she blows up," she'll be getting those "Blue Jeans" for free! Hey, it takes a certain confidence to pitch your songs to L.A. Reid as a teenager, so again, don't hate her for hustling, because that's how you end hanging out backstage with Nick, Kevin, and Joe.
4. That Name Is Pretty Kick-Ass
Yet another reason to watch Jessie's "Wanted" music video -- girl's on the run from the law. Jessie wrote and pitched "Wanted" as a play on her own name -- as in the one she shares with the Confederate robber? I'll have to check my history, but I don't think Jesse James, the James-Younger gang member, eluded capture by belting his shirt and dancing with half-naked construction workers... But I could always be wrong.
5. ... And She's Gonna Be Big
Jessie has respectable Internet and radio buzz, and that little gig with the JoBros, along some real talent... we've got a hit-maker, so says me. I would even even venture Jessie appeals to both girls (she's all about the anthems) and guys (again, feel free to Google her Maxim spread). Anyone else predict at least one Jonas will partake? *gasp* We know how they feel about country singers...