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Willow Smith, the daughter of stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, gained musical fame in 2010 with her first hit single "Whip My Hair".
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In their role as ambassadors for the project, they help raise awareness for children orphaned by the global AIDS epidemic by participating in fundraising and outreach campaigns. When asked about her involvement, Smith said, "Project Zambi is about kids and for kids, and it's so important that we all learn to take care of each other."
Turning back to her work before the camera,
Smith made a jump to TV when she guest-starred in the Nickelodeon series True Jackson, VP. Though it only was a one-time appearance, Smith loved the quick-fire nature of the TV set and found it easy to "work and have fun at the same time." Always the life of the party on set, her True Jackson cast mates quickly discovered her uncanny ability to mimic her dad, "He's giving me advice like 'Willow, stay in the moment! You have this, you got it down. Just stay in the moment. OK, now go out there and kill it.'"
In the fall of 2010, Smith leapt into the pop music scene with her hip-hop single "Whip My Hair." Buzz surrounding the soon-to-be hit came fast and furious, with critics calling Smith a young Rihanna in the making. The young star's crossover from screen to vinyl surprised even her parents. In an on-air interview, Jada Pinkett Smith said, "Let me tell you, she's 9 years old. I don't know where that voice came from. She sings like she's a grown woman. Like she's been around. I'm like, 'Where does all that experience in your voice come from?' I have no idea, but she's something. Music is her thing."
Smith officially joined the Roc Nation family in September 2010, signed by hip-hop legend Jay-Z, who first heard the smash single without knowing her age or her parentage. Already enthusiastic about her music, when Jay-Z met Smith in person, it sealed the deal. "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.' I knew right then she was a star," Jay-Z said.
Barely a preteen at the wise old age of ten, Smith has already figured out a few key life philosophies. When asked about the meaning of "Whip My Hair," she says, "It means just be an individual. Like, you can't be afraid to be yourself, you have to be yourself, and you can't let anyone tell you that that's wrong."
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