On-again, off-again pop power couple Jessica Simpson and 98 Degrees' Nick Lachey are not only back together ... they're engaged.
Though they had a very public breakup last April, the twosome are "very happy" now that they plan to tie the knot, according to a spokesperson for Simpson's record label.
The couple, who had been dating since Simpson opened for 98 Degrees' tour in the summer of 1999 (see "Jessica Simpson Chats About Her Love Match With 98 Degrees' Nick"), were similar to pop's other reigning couple, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in both cases, the female half made public proclamations that she would remain a virgin until she was married.
Simpson and Lachey were rumored to have become engaged last winter, when she started wearing a diamond ring that she said was more than a friendship ring. "Yes, it's from Nick," she told The Associated Press. "But it's not on the right finger."
When they split in the spring, she said the pressure of remaining in the relationship was too much and she would rather focus on her career, which had seemingly been a focus of the romance, anyway. Simpson and Lachey each raised the other's profile when they dueted on "Where You Are," off her first album, Sweet Kisses (see "Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson To Duet At Premiere"). Lachey also wrote a few songs, including "Forever in Your Eyes" and "To Fall in Love Again," for her follow-up, Irresistible.
Despite the breakup, Simpson had remained optimistic that the couple would get back together (and even someday wed) and maintained that she still loved Lachey. Her spokesperson wouldn't say when they patched things up and would only confirm that the proposal came sometime this week.