Jessica Rose "Jessie" James Decker (born April 12, 1988) is an American country pop singer-songwriter and reality T.V. personality. At age fifteen, after auditioning for and being rejected by most of the country labels in Nashville, Tennessee, James began working on refining her craft with Carla Wallace of Big Yellow Dog Music. One of her songs attracted the attention of Mercury Records which offered her a recording contract. She released her debut album, Jessie James, in 2009. A few years later in 2013, she starred with her husband Eric Decker in the E! reality show Eric & Jessie: Game On that is no longer airing. The following year, on April 18, 2014, James released an EP through iTunes with 19 Recordings entitled Comin' Home.
James was born April 12, 1988 in Vicenza, Italy. She is from a military family, as her father served in the U.S. Air Force. As a result, she lived in many areas: Germany, Iowa, Kentucky, Texas, and Louisiana. James has two younger siblings, Sydney and John. She began singing at the age of two and won her first talent contest in Baker, Louisiana at the age of nine singing, "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart". She told her mother about the show after hearing about it from her grandmother. By then, she had already been writing songs on a plastic guitar and had performed at SeaWorld and in Warner Robins, in 2000. At age fifteen, she made weekly trips to Nashville to hone her songwriting skills. She had auditioned and was turned down by almost all the country labels in Nashville, yet one label head offered her a development deal.
At seventeen, James was introduced to Carla Wallace of independent label Big Yellow Dog Music, who helped her with her songwriting and singing. One of her songs, "Gypsy Girl", written with two writers from Yellow Dog had been pitched to American Idol contestant and winner, Carrie Underwood. Underwood put it on hold for her record, but nonetheless the song made it into the hands of record executive David Massey, who brought her to the attention of L.A. Reid. She auditioned for Reid singing her song "My Cowboy", produced by John Rich. James soon inked a contract with Mercury Records. Even though she originally thought that she would be producing a country record, James was later told to record a pop album by record executives. She also claimed to have been asked to sound like pop singer Britney Spears. She described the recording process as "intense" due to the label sending her to work with hip-hop producers, who asked her to sound less country despite her desire to make country music. She described herself in an interview as "a country girl at heart," having grown up listening to the genre and preferring it to pop.
Her debut album, Jessie James, was released in August 2009, debuting at number twenty-three on the Billboard 200. The music on the album was a fusion between country and pop music, with more emphasis placed on the latter as dictated by her label. The album also featured writing credits from James and seasoned pop songwriter Kara DioGuardi and Mitch Allan among others. The album received mixed receptions from critics. Allmusic received the album positively, but found that despite being marketed as such and featuring some country influenced production, the music on the album was a far cry from country music. Slant thought that the album only superficially pulled together influences from pop, country and hip-hop while failing to pander to any of those audiences. The album's first single, "Wanted", produced by Allan, had been released in April and peaked at number forty on the Billboard Hot 100. She later performed in the Middle East with singer Kid Rock and comedian Carlos Mencia for US troops stationed overseas.
James began working on her second album, Sweet American Dreams, in 2010, which was initially planned to be released in late summer. The album was to be of the same country-pop sound as her debut, with James being given more leeway by Mercury in incorporating country sounds. The first single, "Boys in the Summer", released in June, was a minor country success but failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Having struggled with accepting her career path as a pop singer, James told her label in the midst of preparations for her album that she did not want to be a pop artist and wanted to record country music. After negotiations, Massey asked Mark Wright from Show Dog-Universal Music, which had facilitated the country release of "Boys in the Summer" in November, to help Mercury/IDJ launch James in the country genre. James then began recording in April 2011. "When You Say My Name" was produced by Wright and released on January 31, 2012. "Military Man" was released on May 22, 2012. She was removed from the Show Dog Universal roster in 2013. James released an extended play, Comin' Home, on April 18, 2014, which hit number one on iTunes top albums chart and debuted in the top 5 on Billboard's top country albums chart. Decker will be featured on former Hinder lead singer Austin John's debut solo EP Love Sick Radio on the track "Howlin'". The EP will be released April 22, 2016. She is currently on the Lights Down Low tour.
Kittenish by Kora Rae
In June 2015, Decker debuted her clothing and accessory line "Kittenish" for Kora Rae. Kittenish by Kora Rae
"Kittenish," a collaboration with Kora Rae Decker's fashion sense and own personal style has caught the eye of fans and followers making her a fashion icon (People). Due to this appeal, in June 2015 Decker debuted her clothing and accessory line "Kittenish" for Kora Rae. The collection is designed in a way that is meant to "build confidence...and make you feel good" (People). The collection ranges from formal to everyday wear and has continued to produce new lines each season.
Amore & Sorvete
During the Summer of 2015, Decker also collaborated with Amore & Sorvete on a line of matching bathing suits and bandanas. The line included bikinis for infants, moms-to-be, and everyone in between.
In 2011, Decker launched a YouTube channel designated to her own beauty, music, and style.
Decker's inspiration behind her beauty tutorials stems from the idea that art is beauty, stating, "I have always loved fashion and feel it's another way to express my creativity." These tutorials range from makeup and hair tips to how-to's as a way to help anyone achieve her look.
She has also starred with her husband Eric Decker in the E! reality show Eric & Jessie: Game On, and joined wrestling icon Steve Austin as co-host of Redneck Island in 2014.
Musical style and influences
James co-wrote the majority of the songs on her debut album. The album is of a country pop fusion genre, revealing her taste for not only country music, but pop and soul music as well. The beat for "Blue Jeans" was a recording of James stepping, this talents stems for her time in the step team at her school. Initially, she faced opposition for her soul music-inspired vocal runs when trying to get signed in Nashville. She has listed Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Bobbie Gentry, Janis Joplin, Shelby Lynne, and Shania Twain as her musical influences. Initially, she also stated that she wanted a career similar to those of Gentry and Twain, who were signed to pop labels but found crossover success in both country and pop music.
On June 22, 2013, Jessie married Eric Decker, a starting wide receiver for the New York Jets of the National Football League who at the time played for the Denver Broncos. In September 2013, it was announced that the couple was expecting their first child together. In November 2013, it was announced that the baby was going to be a girl. James gave birth to their daughter Vivianne Rose Decker on March 18, 2014. James gave birth to a son, Eric Thomas Decker II on September 3, 2015.