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Jaden Smith's Charitable Gift

The talented Jaden Smith stopped by on Ellen's birthday to deliver a special gift from his family -- a donation in Ellen's honor to Charity: Water. The organization will build a well that will provide water to a village for 20 years. Find out how you can donate right here.


Jaden's voice has changed a lot since the last time I saw him!

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Willow Smith: Whipper Snapper

Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, and more than 34 million YouTube users are already fans. Get ready for pop's newest star, Willow Smith. (Oh yeah, and she's only ten.)

by Amanda Fitzsimons

Asked if she can relate to most ten-year-olds, Willow Smith doesn't miss a beat. "Of course—I am one!" she says, stopping just short of letting out a giant "duh."

But it's not exactly the stupidest query in the world, since, at least on the outside, Willow has the kind of life most fifth graders don't: movie-star parents (Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith), a famous big brother who's BFFs with Justin Bieber (The Karate Kid star Jaden), a film career of her own (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl and I Am Legend), and, of course, one megahit song.

Unless you don't have a radio, TV, or Internet connection, you've probably heard the übercatchy "Whip My Hair," which, since its release this fall, has scored more than 34 million hits on YouTube and a number eleven slot on the Billboard Hot 100—a milestone no other ten-year-old has reached.

Willow, who joins Justin on his European tour this month, admits that even she's still getting used to it all. "When I first put ['Whip My Hair'] out, everyone was like, 'Willow, Willow, I love your song!' And I was like, 'Really?'" recalls the singer.

She credits the incredible popularity of the single, in part, to its positive message. "Whipping your hair means not being afraid to be yourself," Willow explains. "If people don't like you, then bunck them, you know?"

That certainly sums up Willow. While pop stars double her age (and size) have opted for no pants and lots of cleavage, she's cultivated a unique look that consists of outrageous updos (she rocks a particularly memorable heart-shaped bouffant in the "Whip My Hair" video) and baggy neon streetwear. "I wear anything I feel like," says the singer, who masterminds her outfits with a team of fashion stylists and hairdressers that she refers to as "my crew." "If I want to put on a pair of Converse with a pencil stuck through them, I will." She's also developed an interest in fancier attire, attending the Dolce & Gabbana spring show with her mom. "Their designs are really cool," she says.

She counts Billy Idol among her style icons, but if her getups bear any resemblance to her dad's wacky clothes from his Fresh Prince days, it's purely a coincidence: "I've never even heard that before," she says.

Not that her parents aren't an inspiration. Willow believes they're the reason she got interested in music in the first place. "I used to go on tour with my mom and dad and see what they were doing, and I'd tell them, 'Oh, I wanna do that, I wanna do that,'" she recalls. A year ago her parents gave in and sent her "Whip My Hair" demo to their friend Jay-Z, who was reportedly so shocked the singer on the track was only nine years old—not to mention the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith—that he insisted on signing the young talent to his Roc Nation label immediately.

Though a music career may have been her idea, she adds that mom and dad still push her to keep up her end of the bargain. "Whenever I don't feel like working, they say, 'You don't want that career? You have to work hard,'" says Willow, who plans to also continue acting. "They think I should keep working harder and harder."

Still, she insists they're by no means stage parents. "It's pretty much a regular family," Willow says. "At dinner we talk about 'What did you do today? What did you wear today?' Not anything about work." And even though she notes that her favorite song of her dad's is "Parents Just Don't Understand" ("because sometimes they don't"), Willow says her relationship with her parents, for the most part, is smooth sailing. "They aren't strict. They won't be like, 'Willow, clean up your room!' They'll be like, 'Willow, will you please clean up your room?' And I'll be like, 'OK,' and do it."

She also maintains she has a solid friendship with her future tour mate. "Justin's like my big brother. I don't have a crush on him," she says. And for someone who preaches about being yourself in the face of haters, Willow says she actually encounters very few. Though she's now homeschooled part-time, she says that when she does return to the classroom, there aren't any Mean Girls antics. "Whenever I've been gone from school for a long time and I come back, everyone's like, 'Willow!' and I'm like, 'Hiiiii!'"

In the end, she says, these past few months have been worth it. Although she's aware fame has its drawbacks ("I have no privacy . . . even when I'm skating"), she doesn't seem deterred. "You can pick how famous you want to be," she says. "If you don't work hard, then you aren't going to have the success that you want. But if you work hard and dig in, then you are going to have the success that you want."
Does that mean Willow wants to be the next Lady Gaga? "Oh yes."


Video: Willow Smith in Teen Vogue

Go behind the scenes of Willow Smith's shoot and watch a bonus interview with her.


Edited by Ale
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Actor Will Smith dons a flat cap to dine out at West Hollywood’s Beso restaurant on Friday night (February 4). As he left, the actor made his way through the crowd of paparazzi and fans only to find he had reportedly been given a parking ticket.

In related news, Will is slated to star in a few films this year. Not to mention, he is overseeing his daughter Willow in the Annie movie remake.


Edited by Ale
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