Since quietly retreating from the spotlight, Ashlee Simpson’s absence from the world of pop-rock music has been noticeable. But during Demi Lovato’s recent stop in Los Angeles during the Holy Fvck tour, the singer welcomed Simpson to the stage for an epic return with a mashup of “La La Land” and “La La.”
The former song appeared on Lovato’s 2008 debut album Get Back, while the latter was featured on Simpson’s own debut Autobiography, released in 2004. During the show, “La La Land” came to a high-energy close as it does on a nightly basis, but rather than shifting into the next track from Lovato’s setlist, the opening notes of “La La” rang through the YouTube theater.
To the thrilling screams of surprise from the packed audience, Lovato announced: “Please give it up for Ashlee Simpson.” Both musicians gave their all to the performance, closing it out after expending all of their energy and dropping to their knees on stage.
Simpson hasn’t released a record since 2008, essentially passing the alt-rock baton over to Lovato, who championed the genre on their first two records before pivoting to pop. On Holy Fvck, they found their way back to the genre with the ease of an artist who has been itching to return to their roots.
In a recent interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Lovato revealed that some of the reigning influences for Holy Fvck were 2000s female artists such as Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, and Paramore’s Hayley Williams, who have even influenced the new generations of musicians led by Olivia Rodrigo on her own debut album Sour.
“I wanted two things with this album,” Lovato explained. “I wanted the sound to be emotive – I wanted people to feel from the sound – but I also wanted people to feel from the lyrics.”