Smith was 10 years old when her single "Whip My Hair" hit No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and she toured with Justin Bieber, which she describes as "overwhelming but amazing." She has since cut her whippable braids, but that wasn't some teenage act of defiance. "Shaving my hair made my inner light grow and shine even more," she says. "I really like who I'm evolving to be." Music continues to be a go-to form of expression for the teenager who quietly posts woozy new electro jams to her SoundCloud account, and plans to tour this year.

Subscribe to billboard biz to continue reading this article and thousands more. subscribers get:
  • 24/7 coverage of every genre and sector of the business with over 150 exclusive charts
  • Bulletin: Breaking stories, chart info and analysis sent directly to your inbox every weekday
  • Billboard Magazine iPad Edition: An enhanced version of the magazine with video, photo galleries and playable charts
  • Archives: A rich history of articles and exclusive charts

Join now or Log In