Jessica Simpson often cites legends like Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton as her musical heroes. But who among the newer country artists really impresses her these days? The Boot got a rather surprising answer when we posed that question to the pop turned country star.

"I think it's impressive how many No. 1s Carrie Underwood has," Simpson told us, with a nervous laugh. "Her choice in songs is really great, and she has an incredible voice. As far as new people, she has one of the strongest voices out there."

So what about this supposed rivalry between the two songbirds?

"It's definitely media-driven. People are just trying to make a story out of nothing," Simpson insists. "I respect her and hopefully she respects me. We've just dated the same guy -- that's it!"

That guy is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who was briefly linked to Underwood last year. Romo is now in a serious relationship with Simpson. But Underwood recently told Allure magazine that he still calls her.

"I don't understand why she would say that," Simpson recently told a San Francisco radio station. "I respect Carrie, and I would never say anything like that."

With all the time she's spending in Nashville these days, Simpson is bound to run into Underwood around town. So would she walk up to her media-deemed nemesis and give her a hug?

"Um ... I would definitely stop and say, 'Hi,'" Simpson answered The Boot.

Simpson is hoping to take the spotlight away from the tabloid nonsense and focus it back on the music with her new country CD, 'Do You Know.' The Boot talked to her about her favorite songs on the album, including the very sexy title track, written by Dolly Parton. Read our exclusive interview here.

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