Willie Nelson had a special surprise for the audience at the Orange County Fair on August 9. The country music legend brought singer and fashion designer Jessica Simpson onstage to perform their new duet “I Will Be Your Fool.” Nelson introduced Simpson as his “good buddy” and explained that the two had recently recorded the song together.
Simpson may have rose to fame as a pop singer, but the Abilene-native proves that she’s right at home in the country music genre. “I Will Be Your Fool” is a gorgeous song about star-crossed lovers in the vein of classic country duets. The onstage chemistry between the two longtime friends is obvious.
The performance was especially meaningful for Simpson because her husband Eric Johnson and her daughter Maxwell and son Ace were in the crowd to see her perform. It also marked the first time Simpson has performed publicly in nine years.
“It’s not every night that a legend invites you to join him on his stage,” Simpson wrote on her Instagram. “And my husband and kids got to see me perform for the first time! I love you @willienelsonofficial 💚”
Simpson and Nelson starred in the 2005 film The Dukes of Hazzard, with Simpson playing the role of Daisy Duke. (She famously covered Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” for the film.) Simpson also appeared in the video for Nelson’s “You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore.”
Simpson first rose to fame with her 1999 pop album Sweet Kisses. In 2008 she released a country album titled Do You Know. She’s spent the last several years focusing on her career as a fashion mogul.
Nelson is currently on his Outlaw Music Festival Tour, featuring special guests Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlile, Van Morrison, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real and more.