Ventura was born in New London, Connecticut. Her father is Filipino and her mother is of African-Americanand West Indian descent. She attended the preparatory Williams School on the Connecticut College campus in New London, graduating in 2004.
Ventura became a recording artist unexpectedly. Shortly after being introduced to music producer, Ryan Leslie, her mother requested that she record a song for her as a birthday gift. Ventura approached Leslie about producing the song, and he put together a duet for them called "Kiss Me". As it turned out, Ventura's mother wasn't the only one who loved the song. Leslie played "Kiss Me" for Tommy Mottola, former chairman of Sony, and the record mogul behind the careers of Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, and most notably Mariah Carey. He offered Ventura a management deal, and weeks later she struck a deal with Leslie to produce her debut album. She signed with Diddy's record label Bad Boy and Recordings, after he heard the track "Me & U" played in a club.
Before the launch of her music career, Ventura was a fashion model for the Wilhelmina modelling agency, where she worked with Adidas, Complex magazine and Abercrombie & Fitch campaigns, among others. As early in her modeling career as 2002 she modeled for local department stores, the Delia's fashion catalogue and the popular magazine Seventeen.
Production on the video to her next single "Long Way 2 Go" has wrapped and is awaiting release.
Original, Unreleased "Me & U" Video
In July 2006 an unreleased, low budget and suggestive video for "Me & U" appeared on YouTube, a popular video sharing website.
This video was in stark contrast to the more polished video that was shown on mainstream media outlets like MTV and BET. Initially, it was removed from most websites but continued to appear on file sharing networks and eventually appeared again on the internet. It was in August that the video found mainstream attention, primarily from magazines. Cassie has gone on record to denounce the original video, which depicts her singing to an unidentified male (who happens to be director Little X) at a night club before taking him to a hotel for a one night stand. Later scenes depict Cassie kneeling below him while caressing his genital region and then unbuckling his pants. Many speculate that Cassie's PR team tried to conceal the outbreak, as this entry once described the video as "Cassie trying to attract a boy but really just messing up and making him laugh."
She also dances in a bra and panties while her companion videotapes her on a handheld camcorder. Many noted its seeming parody of Paris Hilton's infamous sex tape due to the night vision lens. The video, directed by Little X, was shot January 2006 in Toronto, Ontario.
On her NS4LIFE Journal, the singer told her readers that the earlier video as "very low budget" and said it "scarred the beginnings for a very bright future." She also said that she made the second version "clean" to preserve her "name and image."
Controversy Regarding Her Vocal Ability
Cassie's vocal ability has been questioned after a pair of performances on MTV's "Total Request Live" and BET's "106 and Park."
On TRL, she seemingly was lip-synching her song. The VJ's quickly cut away to a video then returned when the problems were fixed. On 106 and Park Cassie had 3 background singers, background dancers, and a DJ to support her. She sang very low on the show and her background singers overshadowed her voice. In addition to background singers, Cassie sang along to the vocal track of "Me & U."
During radio interviews Cassie also has declined to sing when put on the spot by DJ's to demonstrate her vocal skills.
On her official journal, she admits her performances have been "pretty terrible", but states she is "still getting over stage fright."
This journal entry was met with anger by fans, while others were sympathetic. Cassie's subsequent appearances and performances were cancelled by her record label, Bad Boy Records. Her next scheduled performance is the NFL Kick Off in September 2006 where she will be performing with label owner Sean "Diddy" Combs.
It has speculated that label owner Sean "Diddy" Combs is currently working with Cassie on her live performances during this brief hiatus from promoting her CD.
Diddy also came out to defend Cassie by releasing a statment:
"She had her first television performance, and she had an all right performance," he said. "You could hear the nervousness in her voice. And to be honest, I kind of smiled at it, because it made me really appreciate what I really love about her: She's a regular person. And we, as artists, we sometimes get nervous. I told her it's like riding a bike: You're gonna fall down, you got to keep on getting on it. I'm with her through her development, and I have no questioning on her ability, on her singing ability. It just made me appreciate that she got nervous, and it was kind of cute to me, to be honest."
These events fueled bloggers and the internet community to scandalize Cassie and petitions were started, calling for her recording contract to be cancelled.
Fans also complained about the seemingly preferential treatment Diddy was giving Cassie over her labelmates, particularly Danity Kane, Diddy's Making the Band group. On the television show, he has booed them and criticized their performances.