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Jasmine V and Kendrick Lamar Release New Single, Proving the Former Justin Bieber Opening Act Is a Latina Pop Star on the Rise

First Posted: Aug 10, 2014 02:40 AM EDT
Jasmine Villegas

Photo : Jasmine Villegas/Facebook

Many teens know Jasmine Villegas, otherwise known as Jasmine V, for being the on and off screen love interest of pop sensation Justin Bieber, and for being featured in his music video for the hit song, "Baby." In 2011, she proved that she also had powerful vocals and became the opening act for Bieber's 32-city My World Tour.

While the Latina pop star is grateful for the recognition and the Bieber association, she hopes to pave the way for herself as a household name in the pop and R&B genres -- starting with her newly released single, "That's Me Right There," featuring hip-hop artist, Kendrick Lamar.

This week, the 20-year-old pop star, who is of Filipino and Mexican descent, was a guest host for a pre-screening of the tornado thriller, "Into the Storm," and reception at the Sky Room in New York City.

Villegas told Latin Post she is thrilled to have collaborated with Lamar, who has worked with other popular names in the R&B and rap worlds, such as Drake, Little Wayne, Dr. Dre and Busta Rhymes, among others. Recently, Lamar made headlines for participating in The EBC (Entertainers Basketball Classic) American Celebrity Basketball Challenge at Barclays in New York. He also debuted a film, "m.A.A.d." a 14-minute experimental documentary as part of the Sundance Next Fest on Aug. 9 at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

After signing with Interscope Records last year, Villegas has been traveling back and forth between Los Angeles, New York and Miami to promote her new music and well as her upcoming debut album.

She will soon release the music video for "That's Me Right There." She also hopes to headline a tour this year and share her new material with her fans. Like Lady Gaga's "Little Monsters," the San Jose, California native's fans are called "Jasminators."

"Ever since I was young," Villegas told Latin Post, pointing to her manager of 10 years, Gabriella Mosci, "she put me in a bunch of high school shows and made me perform at all of these charity events, Big Brother, Big Sister and the Boys and Girls Club of America. ... And I am glad I did it at a young age, because I was able to take [the experience] under my belt."

In 2012, Villegas' hit song "Didn't Mean It" was well-received not only for the music but for its message. Having been a victim of domestic abuse, Villegas wanted to share her story and help other young girls and women enduring cruelty speak up for themselves. The "Didn't Mean It" music video and Villegas' story generated a lot of buzz. The domestic abuse hotline featured in the music video increased in calls "by 50 percent," she told ABC News.

She went on to engage in a powerful dialogue with her fans across the country.

"What I have learned from the situation, I think for me, that it shouldn't have happened, but it made me the stronger person that I am today," she added.

The young talent was discovered at age 11 and worked under the direction of music mogul Dame Dash's Dash Music Group and Mosci. Her 2011, nine-track mixtape, "S(he) Be(lie)ve(d)" yielded three successful buzz tracks: "Jealous," "Werk" and "Just A Friend." 

She has performed at 15 sporting events, including the national anthem at a Los Angeles Clippers game and the Mayweather vs. Ortiz boxing match. Villegas also guest-starred on "That's So Raven," "My Wife and Kids" and "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody."

She also has a strong social media presence -- in 2012 she was listed as the "No. 3 Most Powerful Woman on Twitter" and the "No. 1 Top Twitter User in Los Angeles" by TweetGrade. She was also named the "No. 9 Most Influential Musician on Twitter" by Klout. She currently has over 1.67 million Twitter followers, more than 893,000 Facebook followers, and more than 563,000 followers on Instagram, according to her official bio.

Listen to Jasmine V's new single, "That's Me Right There," featuring Kendrick Lamar.

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