A larger-than-life talent in a petite package, the “little-bit-of Greek, and predominantly Italian” Jessie James has been ready for her close-up since she was two, when the well-traveled military brat, born a fiery Aries in a military field hospital in Italy, began singing into a toy microphone and tape recorder, a gift from her mom. By the time she was nine, she was composing her own songs on a plastic guitar, performing at the opening of Sea World and the Republican Convention.
Working with the likes of Katy Perry, Kara DioGuardi, Mitch Allan and Jamey Johnson, her 2009 debut album produced the Top 25 pop and Top 20 dance hit, “Wanted,” a song she co-wrote with DioGuardi, Allan and David Hodges. The swaggering, hip-hop-influenced “Blue Jeans” was featured on the soundtrack of the hit Touchstone film version of the best-selling novel, Confessions of a Shopaholic, while Perez Hilton previewed the twangy “My Cowboy” on his influential website. Maxim magazine named her one of the 100 hottest women in the world, and she went to the Middle East with Kid Rock and Carlos Mencia to perform for the U.S. troops stationed overseas. The daughter of an Air Force officer, Jessie says, “I felt right at home. Many of the people I saw over there were friends of my dad.”
“I’m an Italian girl from the south who’s very passionate,” she says. “Love is what makes you do everything. It really does conquer all. With my first album, I was writing about empowerment hoping that would make it true. And now it is. I’m in charge. I make the rules. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old and I’m very much involved in the creative process. And now that I’m in a happier place in my personal life, I’m spitting songs out left and right.”
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