Bad Boy’s leading lady, Cassie, has been plastered on mall storefronts and tucked beneath Diddy’s arm for years. But her own musical masterpiece has always remained in her crosshairs. With a determination as fierce as ever, her future never looked this good
There’s never been a better time to be bad than now. While Michael Jackson’s leather-jacketed, graffiti-sprayed interpretation of the term in the late ’80s spawned a decade of makeshift Halloween ensembles, the essence of being a rebel with a cause has never been more contagious till the age of the Rihannas and Walter Whites.
When MJ played the delinquent in “Bad,” Casandra Ventura was only a year old, nestled in a nurturing household and tight-knit family. The model/ singer, who would go on to be known as Cassie, was raised in the suburbs of New London, Connecticut, by a Filipino father (a firefighter) and an African-American/Mexican mother (a law firm associate), who have remained together for more than three decades. A product of a private school education, Cassie admits she wasn’t a Mean Girl. “I always wished I was cool and could’ve been a troublemaker,” she says via phone, “but I was actually a pretty decent kid.”
Decent is a relative term given the picture-perfect, ebony-haired chanteuse began striking poses for the likes of clothing store Delia’s (think pre-teen Forever 21) and Seventeen magazine at the age of 12. It wasn’t until a photo shoot four years later that she had a taste of being a member of the Bad Girls Club.
“I did Cosmo Girl and they do a beauty issue every year and I was [shooting] for skin. It was a little bit risqué for 16,” she recalls. “I had my little boy shorts on and I was covered up, kneeling down. That came out and people saw it, even my parents were shocked to finally see what I had grown into. That was kind of a pivotal moment.”