Where has she been?
Smith’s debut single “Whip My Hair”, released on the eve of her 10th birthday in 2010, went platinum in the US and to No 2 in the UK. The nipper then recorded a debut album, was signed by rapper Jay-Z and picked up awards like most kids collect Pokémon cards. She already had a film career under her belt, too, starring alongside her father Will Smith in I Am Legend in 2007. Now, having taken time off to “just be 12”, Smith’s mother, Jada Pinkett, says she is ready to become the youngest comeback kid.
But didn’t she release a single in January?
Yes, but in today’s world of Twitter-addicted young’uns, four months equates to roughly 30,000 years for older pop fans.
Celebrities never just take time off. What’s the inside line?
Whisper it, but Smith may be just a little too old. All lined up to play the lead in a big-budget remake of the musical Annie, the production company pulled the plug, saying she’d “grown out of the role”.
But mum and dad must be backing her up?
Certainly. Her father is one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, while her mother is an actress, singer-songwriter and businesswoman. There’s no doubt they’ve given her a step up, and affected her personal philosophy. On choosing a career in music, Willow said: “I wanted to make a difference now, because I wanted to be big and famous like my mommy and daddy and help people.”
So no Britney Spears-style breakdown on the horizon?
No. Our money’s still on Justin Bieber for that. Although, like Britney, Willow did shave her head last year. Fame-induced madness, or a defiant statement of self-ownership in the face of a runaway debut single that burdened her with the most famous juvenile locks in town? Let’s wait and see...