It’s been a rough week for Jessica Simpson, who became the subject of much weight-gain talk after recent photos showed the pop/country star had added a few extra pounds.
Several times during her 40-minute set on Thursday night in Charlottesville, Va., however, an upbeat and smiling Jess emphasized the importance of prayer and staying positive during difficult times.
"In our world today, we focus on so many other things that are completely pointless," she said to the audience. "I wanted to tell the world we need to put our hands together and pray out loud."
After performing her song, "Still Beautiful," the 28-year-old told the crowd at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena to remember the song’s last line: "Even when I’m sad, every day I have is still beautiful."
"Please remember that, no matter what you go through in life," she implored.
And even though it was the topic on everyone’s tongues, Jessica, who was opening up for main attraction Rascal Flatts, did not mention her recent weight gain. In fact, in skin-tight black leather pants, a black blazer and silver sparkling high heels, she seemed to have slimmed down.
She did address one juicy topic during the show: her relationship with Tony Romo. She dedicated her song "You’re My Sunday" to "someone special" in her life. "He inspires me to be everything I can be," she said.
The love-fest didn’t stop there. When Rascal Flatts took the stage, bassist Jay DeMarcus had kind words for Jessica.
"I was Googling ‘pretty’ the other day," he said to the crowd, "and her face came up."
During set breaks, a large projection screen showed real-time text messages sent in by the audience. One said: "Jessica Simpson U R so beautiful but shhhh my girl is right next to me."