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Access Hollywood
updated 7/20/2008 6:53:40 PM ET 2008-07-20T22:53:40

Jessica Simpson’s gone country – but can she stay there?

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The aspiring crossover singer made her country concert debut at the Country Thunder USA Festival in Randall, Wisc. on Saturday, where she reached out to an unsure audience.

“I don’t know what your perception is of Jessica Simpson or what tabloid you buy, but I just want you to know that I’m just a girl from Texas; I’m just like you,” Simpson told the crowd, according to the Kenosha News. “I’m doing what I love and dating a boy.”

High-profile boyfriend and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo may not have been there to comment, but concertgoers were quick to offer their opinions of Simpson’s show.

“I actually like her country songs better,” Mary Grace told the newspaper. “She has a great voice, plus, she’s adorable.”

In addition to her own material, Simpson reportedly sang country covers including Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” and Shania Twain’s “Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” But she didn’t win over everyone.

“I just don’t hear the country in her,” said Adam Matos, from Arlington Heights, Ill. “I don’t hear the twang. She’s not good enough to be here.”

Mike Rodriguez of Lake Geneva, Wisc., seconded that opinion.

“Just because she’s dating Tony Romo it doesn’t make her country,” he said. “She doesn’t fit in with country, and I’ll have to drink a lot of beer to sit through her concert.”

Simpson faced some steep competition at Country Thunder, where more established artists such as Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Sugarland were also on the bill. Her country album is due for release on September 9.

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