Justin Bieber's 'Baby' Video Co-Star Jasmine V Talks Solo Career, Working With Kendrick Lamar

Jasmine V, 2014
Ben Cope

From: San Jose, Calif.

Age: 20

Origin: A child actress with appearances on My Wife and Kids and That's So Raven, Jasmine Villegas signed with Damon Dash at age 12 before inking a deal with Sony, and then Interscope in 2013. "I was signed three times and was really discouraged throughout a lot of it," she says. "If something goes wrong, you feel like everything's going to go wrong. There are a lot of everyday struggles."

Big Break: Appearing as the object of Justin Bieber's unrequited love in the 2010 video for his hit "Baby" helped Villegas build a social media presence that now stands at 1.7 million Twitter followers.

Co-Sign: Her single "That's Me Right There" reached No. 29 on the Billboard/Twitter Top Tracks chart and No. 41 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs during the summer, partly thanks to a feature from Kendrick Lamar, to whom Villegas remains indebted. "I didn't know if he'd be down to collaborate with an artist like me," she says. "I'm not even out yet." Villegas need not worry for long: Her R&B-pop debut EP, also titled That's Me Right There, is due Nov. 10. A full-length album is planned for early 2015.

High Hopes: Villegas doesn't couch her ambitions. "I want to start my own clothing line, perfume, makeup," she says. "I want to be a businesswoman."

An edited version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 8 issue of Billboard.


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