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Crowned the "Princess of NextSelection" by the producer behind the brand, Ryan Leslie, singer Cassie burst onto the New York music scene completely by accident. Ryan was downtown at club Marquee with Usher, and noticed a new face in the crowd that night. Weeks later, he was surprised to run into her again at Diddy's birthday bash in November 2004. Aside from her multi-racial good looks (she's Filipino and Black), he noticed something special about her personality, and was finally introduced to her by Diddy's make-up artist, who had worked with her before on a photoshoot.
Cassie never did things the traditional way. When she graduated high school, she was the only student in her class to announce that she was not going to college, but was moving to New York to make it on her own, in "real life".
Shortly after being introduced to Ryan, her mother requested that Cassie record a song for her as a birthday gift. She approached him about producing it, and since she had never been in the studio before, he put together a duet for them called "Kiss Me". As it turned out, Cassie's mother wasn't the only one who loved the song...Ryan played it for Tommy Mottola, former chairman of Sony, and the executive behind J. Lo, Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, and dozens of others. He offered her a management deal on the spot.
Weeks later, Cassie struck a deal with NextSelection to produce her album, and was invited on a promo tour in Germany to promote a single called "Me & U" that had been leaked on the internet and became a huge club hit there.
Though it was hard to believe, before she knew it, she was on her way to becoming an international celebrity, performing for thousands of fans, signing her first autographs, and taking pictures with DJs that fell in love with her sweet attitude and girl-next-door personality.
Then came the requests.
R&B singer Mario invited her to be the lead (and only) girl in the video for his single "Here I Go Again", Missy Elliot picked Cassie to be the face of her Adidas "Respect M.E." clothing line, Clean & Clear put her in a commercial, Complex magazine featured her in a swimsuit spread, and Target department store chose her to be on their prime billboard space in Times Square.
Not bad for a girl who broke a school tradition to follow her heart and write her own rules.
Hit songs include --
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