Casandra Ventura (born August 26,
1986), professionally known as Cassie, is an
American pop/R&B singer and former fashion model.
She is best known for her hit 2006 single "Me & U".
Ventura was born in New London, Connecticut. Her
father is Filipino and her mother is of
African-American and Mexican descent. She
attended the preparatory Williams School on the
Connecticut College campus in New London, graduating
Ventura became a recording artist unexpectedly.
Shortly after being introduced to music producer,
Ryan Leslie, her mother requested that she record a
song for her as a birthday gift. Ventura approached
Leslie about producing the song, and he put together
a duet for them called "Kiss Me". Leslie played it
for Tommy Mottola, former chairman of Sony and
record mogul behind the careers of Jennifer Lopez,
Jessica Simpson, and most notably Mariah Carey. He
offered Ventura a management deal, and weeks later
she struck a deal with Leslie to produce her debut
album. She signed with Diddy's record label Bad Boy
Records, after he heard "Me & U" played in a club.
Cassie was a fashion model for the Wilhelmina
modelling agency through which she worked with
Adidas, Complex magazine and Abercrombie & Fitch
campaigns, among others. As early as 2002, she
modeled for local department stores, the Delia's
fashion catalogue and the popular magazine
Production on the video for her 2nd single, "Long
Way 2 Go," has wrapped and is awaiting release.
In September, Cassie claimed that she is no longer a
model because her agency told her to lose weight.
She said she was furious and decided to quit
modeling, instead focusing fulltime on her music
Cassie is trilingual, being fluent in English and
conversational in Tagalog and Spanish.
Cassie's vocal ability has been questioned after a
pair of performances on MTV's "Total Request Live"
and BET's "106 and Park." On TRL, she seemingly was
lip-synching her song. The VJ's quickly cut away to
a video then returned when the problems were fixed. On 106 and Park, Cassie had 3 background
singers, background dancers, and a DJ (her producer,
Ryan Leslie) to support her. She sang very low on
the show and her background singers overshadowed her
voice. In addition to background singers, Cassie
sang along to the vocal track of "Me & U." During
radio interviews, Cassie has also declined to sing
when put on the spot by DJ's to demonstrate her
vocal skills. On her official journal, she admit her
performances have been "pretty terrible" but states
she is "still getting over stage fright."
Cassie's subsequent appearances and performances
were cancelled by her record label, Bad Boy Records.
Her next scheduled performance is the NFL Kick Off
in September 2006, where she will be performing with
label owner Sean "Diddy" Combs. Diddy also came out
to defend Cassie by releasing a statement: "She had
her first television performance, and she had an all
right performance," he said. "You could hear the
nervousness in her voice. And to be honest, I kind
of smiled at it, because it made me really
appreciate what I really love about her: She's a
regular person." These events fueled bloggers
and the internet community to scandalize Cassie and
petitions were started, calling for her recording
contract to be cancelled. She was also compared to
Danity Kane, her Bad Boy Entertainment labelmates
because Diddy would treat them much worse on
camera. Many also wondered why Bad Boy labelmate
Cheri Dennis has been kept on the back burner,
awaiting release while Cassie's CD was released
quickly. Cassie has also admitted to being a "diva".
She says, "(I last had a tantrum) probably
yesterday. I really, really needed tea yesterday and
no body brought me any, so I was like, 'How many
times do I need to ask for tea? I'm about to go on
Call U Out
Can't Do It Without You
Hope You're Behaving (Interlude)
Just One Night
Just One Nite
Long Way 2 Go
Long way to go
Me & U
Me & U (Remix)
Miss Your Touch
Not with You
What Do U Want