Ashlee Simpson 'Stronger,' Ready for SNL

Ashlee Simpson 'Stronger,' Ready for SNL
Ashlee Simpson
Lisa Rose/JPI

updated 10/05/2005 AT 02:25 PM EDT

originally published 10/05/2005 AT 08:00 AM EDT

When last seen on Saturday Night Live, Ashlee Simpson was not having her finest moment.

During her performance on the NBC show last year, a technical glitch revealed the fact that she was lip-synching. But now, her wounds licked, Jessica Simpson's little sister – who turned 21 on Monday – is prepared to face the music again on this week's SNL.

"I'm excited," she tells PEOPLE. "I've been waiting to go back."

She sees this new appearance as a way to conquer her fears, telling MTV News: "I think everything happens for a reason. ... I feel like I became a stronger person and I definitely grew from that situation. I really learned how to stand up for myself."

She also says sister Jessica was "absolutely" a pillar of support after the ordeal. "Dude," says Ashlee, "she's been through everything."

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Conversely, Ashlee's eyes were opened to those in her life who help and those who hinder. "There are people around you who love and support you, and people that are around who don't," she says. "I'm learning to balance that. I'm learning what's real and what's not."

Ashlee's new record, I Am Me, will be released Oct. 18 and contains two songs that relate to the SNL debacle. One, "Beautifully Broken," is "basically saying that it's okay to be broken, that there's a beauty in that," she says. The other song is "Catch Me When I Fall."

"I wouldn't have some of the songs on my record if it weren't for learning that it's okay to fall on your face, it's life to learn how to put yourself back together," she adds.
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