Singer Jasmine V. addresses rumors she's dating the teen idol, and chats about making her own music

By Joey Bartolomeo
March 08, 2010 01:45 PM

Playing the object of Justin Bieber’s affection in his “Baby” video has had its ups-and-downs for singer Jasmine Villegas (a.k.a. Jasmine V.) “I got a lot of good responses and I actually gained some fans,” says the 16-year-old. “But a lot of girls are like, ‘Stay away from my man!’ and ‘He’s mine!’ ”

The truth is, there’s plenty to love about the bubbly San Jose, Calif., native:

1. She is not dating Bieber
“Those are all rumors,” she says. “We’re not dating. We’re just really cool friends.” Jasmine, who attended Bieber’s recent 16th birthday bash, adds, “When I’ve hung out with him, it’s always been with a bunch of people.” The pair did share a scripted kiss during the video shoot – which didn’t make the final cut – but Jasmine insists there was nothing romantic to it: “It was like work.” Still, she does have a fondness for the “sweet” pop star. “He’s super-talented, very nice and very down-to-earth.”

2. She was discovered while walking down the street
“I have a musical family, so I used to always sing around with them for events,” she explains. “I never thought I could make a career out of it.” That changed a few years ago, when she was visiting Los Angeles. “I was walking down the street singing, and some guy started talking to my mom,” says Jasmine, who was belting out “How to Deal” by Frankie J. “I sang more songs for him, and he ended up sending out a video to a couple people, and that’s how I got my manager.” Soon, she was performing the national anthem for teams including the Los Angeles Clippers, the Angels, the Dodgers, and the Lakers.

3. Music isn’t even her first career
Before she became a singer, Jasmine was a model and actress. She’s appeared on The Nine, That’s So Raven, and My Wife and Kids, and also scored a part in Kanye West‘s Jesus Walks video when she was 11 years old. “It was my first music video I was ever in,” she says. “I played an angel.”
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4. She’s an international star
Because of her heritage – she’s half-Filipino, half-Mexican – Jasmine ended up catching the eye of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao’s camp, and landed gigs singing at his matches. “Manny and his people ended up flying me out to the Philippines and I became a big celebrity over there,” she says. Thanks to her personal Web site and YouTube videos, she now has fans all over the world, and she often interacts with them via Twitter and Skype. Jasmine’s international fans are such a dedicated bunch that they won’t let time zone issues get in their way of chatting with her. “One girl was like, ‘Okay, it’s so nice talking to you. I’ve got to go to bed. I’ve got to wake up in two hours. I’ve got school.'”

5. Her first album is due out later this year
Jasmine’s song “Serious” helped her get a deal with Epic Records, and she’s currently recording songs for her first album, which she expects to cross a pop sound with urban attitude. She hopes to walk in the footsteps of her idol: Alicia Keys. “I think she’s amazing,” says Jasmine. “She’s one of the artists that doesn’t have to show off her body too much to get attention and is all about her voice, and her beauty, and her talent.”