Backstage footage shot by a documentary crew might just have saved ASHLEE SIMPSON's credibility - proving the pop star really did lose her voice before her embarrassing performance on Saturday Night Live a week ago (23OCT04).

A crew working for American news show 60 MINUTES was tracking Simpson for a piece on their weekly programme when the singer dashed from the SNL stage in tears when the backing track she was supposed to sing along to played the wrong tune - exposing the fact she wasn't performing live.

The embarrassment made headlines all over America and led to fans flooding Simpson's official website to berate the pop star.

But Simpson insisted the backing tape was just a "guide track" to help her out when her voice gave up on her in rehearsals.

And the 60 Minutes crew appear to have the footage proving the singer wasn't just making excuses.

The footage, which will air on Sunday (31OCT04) in America, features a teary Simpson dashing from the stage during rehearsals, clutching her throat.

01/11/2004 10:50