Born on August 26, 1986 in New London, Connecticut, Casandra Elizabeth Ventura AKA Cassie Ventura is an American model and singer. She is a mix of Filipino, Mexican and African American ancestry. Her claim to fame is her single from 2006 “Me & U,” which peaked at Number Three on the Billboard Hot Top 100 and sold more than a million digital downloads.
Cassie Venture graduated from Williams School on the Connecticut College campus in New London in 2004. While there, she trained as a dancer, singer and took voice lessons. She began modeling when she was 14, and within a couple of years had appeared in ads for “Seventeen” magazine and “Delia’s.”
As a model, she was also the face of rapper Missy Elliot’s Adidas “Respect M.E.” clothing line, as well as appearing on a Target billboard in Times Square.
After graduating high school, Cassie moved to New York City with her best friend and struggled to find a landlord who would rent to a high school graduate. She continued to model and took classes at the Broadway Dance Center.
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While at a party, Cassie met producer Ryan Leslie. Cassie had recorded a song as a gift for her mother’s birthday in 2005 and it was Ryan Leslie who took the song to mogul Tommy Mottola. Cassie Ventura subsequently signed with Diddy’s record label Bad Boy Recordings.
Cassie said, “I’ll always love performing, like that’s my thing…who knows, maybe in five years I’ll take a break from music and try to do some acting, or go back to modeling. You never know what can happen” (westlord.com). Her musical influences include Jennifer Lopez and she calls herself a “die-hard Janet Jackson fan.”
Since launching her debut album in 2006, she has recorded songs for the soundtracks of “Fish Tank,” “The Fifth Commandment,” “Step Up 2: The Streets” and “Sugar.” She has also been an actress on “Step Up 2: The Streets.” She recently collaborated with Nicki Minaj on the single “Boys.”
In 2012, there were rumors that she was engaged to Sean “Diddy” Combs, but both denied the rumor. That same year, when asked what was taking so long between her debut album and a follow up, she said, “I’m a perfectionist, and when it comes to people I want to work with, I have changed my mind, like, millions of times. I started work on this new record in 2007 and I only feel right now that it’s coming together.”
Of her early success, Cassie Ventura said, “I was so naïve back them, with no idea about what the industry was like, or what I was supposed to be having fun with. Everything I did felt quite rushed along to keep up with the momentum.”
Her second studio album is set to be released in 2013. Cassie Ventura lives in New York City.
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