Why Jessica Simpson Sang 'The Star-Spangled Banner' to Daughter Maxwell as a Lullaby

Jessica Simpson had a unique approach to singing her oldest child to sleep during her baby years.

During a Tuesday visit to The Kelly Clarkson Show, the singer and Open Book author recalls thinking twice about the lyrics of “Rock-a-Bye Baby” to daughter Maxwell “Maxi” Drew, 7½, when she was a baby — and not being a fan of its disturbing underlying message.

“When I was singing lullabies to her, I was like, ‘This is not gonna make her stop crying.’ ‘Cause it’s like, ‘When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall, and down will come baby, cradle and all’?” said Simpson, 39.

“Everyone dies, yeah!” agreed host Kelly Clarkson.

“So I just sang about America. I sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ ” Simpson shared. “I was like, ‘Okay, she’s crying so loud, and I have some pipes and a set of lungs, so I can be louder than her.’ So I would just belt out ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ “

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Maxwell is almost 8 years old today, but the first musical lessons from her mama have stuck with her.”Now she sings it in the shower at the top of her lungs and she does such a great job, so I take credit for that,” Simpson joked.

The singer, actress and fashion designer also shares daughter Birdie Mae, 1 next week, and son Ace Knute, 6½, with husband Eric Johnson. And she credits wanting to be present for their kids with helping her sobriety.

“I was at a place where I was literally spiraling with the alcohol and I was missing out on moments with my children, and then they were seeing me and they were very confused,” Simpson told an audience member who asked what made her realize she finally “had to get sober,” which happened after Halloween 2017.

“I just wanted to be present and have clarity and be a good role model for my children,” she continued. ” ‘Cause I always wanted to be a good role model for the world, so why in the world would I be stuck in this cycle of having to wake up and have a drink before going to one of their school assemblies?”

“It got to the point where all of my life had escalated and I couldn’t suppress it,” Simpson added. “And alcohol, it wasn’t working. It was making me completely check out.”

Addressing her new memoir, the mother of three said her “openness” within its candidly written pages “holds [her] accountable” in the way she lives her life now.

“When I decided to get sober, I stopped drinking and I just had so much clarity [and] started learning so much about myself and why I had to drink to try and escape and feel normal,” she told Clarkson, 37. “I thought it was helping with my anxiety and it was actually making it worse.”

Open Book is available now on amazon.com.

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