Willow at BET Awards. (Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)Willow Smith may not be able to whip her hair back and forth anymore, but the 11-year-old daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett is still making a mark in music. On Sunday, Willow debuted the video for her new song, "I Am Me," a ballad about celebrating her unique look, which is often mocked. In it, the tween, who has a shaved head, wanders around New York City in an oversized yellow-and-white polka dot shirt and stops in various locations to play her keyboard and sing for the camera. Although the song is pretty simple (the chorus repeats: "I am me/I am free/That's all I can be"), Willow's powerful pipes are quite impressive for her age.
"I Am Me" is the third song released by Willow and is expected to appear on her upcoming debut album, "Knees and Elbows," which does not yet have a release date, but will also include her 2010 smash hit "Whip My Hair," which went platinum and peaked at No. 11 on the Billbord Hot 100 chart, as well as "Fireball," a collaboration with Nicki Minaj. Willow was signed by Jay-Z's Roc Nation two years ago when she was just 9 years old. The rapper has said he had a feeling about her as soon as they met up in Japan, where Willow was with her family while older brother Jaden, almost 14, was filming "The Karate Kid" remake.
"She walked in and the first thing she said was, 'I'm really nervous,' and I thought, 'That's maturity to explain exactly how she was feeling when she walked right into the room,'" Jay-Z, who has compared Willow to his other protégé, Rihanna, told MTV. "I knew right then she was a star. I believe in superstars. I believe in big records and superstars, and I think she has both." As for those who question the talent of a young child, the rapper added, "I don't want to go so far, but I can imagine that's how Mike [Jackson] was as a young kid — he knew exactly what he wanted. I believe that you have to start somewhere, and when you have that sort of talent and vision, there's no such thing as too young. Again, I heard the record without knowing who it was. ... We all danced to Michael Jackson records when he was 8. Stevie Wonder started at 8, it's just what it is, who she is."
What do you think of Willow's "I Am Me"?
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