Everyone loves a Cinderella story. In 2006, the glass slipper belongs to Cassie, thanks to her smash debut single, "Me&U." Its infectious, seductive sound has taken radio, clubs, and iTunes by storm. Cassie’s also the first artist to break on such a large scale after being discovered from her MySpace page. With the summer release of her debut Bad Boy/NextSelection album, Cassie is ready to prove that she’s much more than a pretty face or a one hit wonder.
She might be the new girl on the scene but 19-year-old Cassie has some serious supporters in her corner: namely industry legends Tommy Mottola (who counts among his discoveries Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez) and Sean "Diddy" Combs who signed Cassie to his Bad Boy roster. Asked about her exploding career, the soft-spoken singer/model says, "Everything has been beyond my wildest expectations. I feel very lucky. I'm really happy my music is affecting so many people. It’s fun music and I think that’s what people are responding to.
Working with Ryan Leslie (Britney Spears, Beyonce) and his NextSelection crew, Cassie is about to unleash a CD that showcases her depth. "I’m hoping to show I can do a wide range of things. We have slow jams, the pop side, a little rock ‘n’ roll, and I actually rap! The album’s really for everyone." Among the CD’s highlights are the gently sexy "Just One Night" and the hushed and romantic "Can’t Do Without It." "The whole album really just goes back to love songs," Cassie explains.
Born and raised in New London, Connecticut, Cassie and her brother grew up with music. Her father plays the trumpet, mom is a pianist, and with their encouragement Cassie started singing (her first idol? Mariah Carey) and taking dance classes. "My parents’ philosophy is do what makes you happy, pursue what you love," says Cassie. By fifth grade, it was plain that Cassie's happiness came from performing on stage. Her theatrical debut wasn’t auspicious. She was a dwarf ("I can’t remember which one!" she giggles) in her private school’s production of "Snow White." "Being on stage I got that rush. I just loved it." The love continued into middle school, when she joined a program that allowed students to act and compose their own musicals.
By seventh grade, Cassie was dancing, acting, singing, composing, and playing the piano. At 14 she added to an impressive resume when she began modeling. Although shorter than the average model, Cassie’s striking looks attracted attention and soon she was represented by the famed Wilhelmina Agency. At 15, she spent the summer in NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen to focus on the competitive fashion world. All of this activity, combined with high school, could have been daunting, but Cassie rose to the challenge. As always, her parents were firmly in her corner. "They never pushed me, but my mom would always ask me, is this what you want to do? Are you happy? Does this work satisfy you?" The answer was yes.